Slices of roast aubergine have been through many incarnations and been a constant feature on the Ottolenghi menu since we first set up shop in 2002. Every now and then a new kid on the block will appear to shake up the old-timers and our latest bright young thing is this black garlic sauce. I’d love black garlic to be more widely available: its taste is reminiscent of molasses and tamarind and it gives an unexpected depth of flavour to dishes. You can simply slice a few thin slivers and add these to crunchy salads or creamy risottos – it’s mellow enough to not dominate – or use it in sauces, dips and purées, as here, to enliven (and challenge the rank of) old favourites.
3 medium aubergines, sliced widthways into 1.5cm rounds (900g)
200ml olive oil
8 large or 16 small black garlic cloves (35g)
200g Greek yoghurt
1½ tsp lemon juice
7 large garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced (30g)
3 red chillies, stalks removed and sliced on the diagonal into 3mm rounds
5g dill leaves
5g basil, roughly torn
5g tarragon leaves
salt and black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 250C/480F/gas 9 (or to its highest setting).
- Place the aubergine in a large bowl with 60ml of the olive oil, 1½ teaspoons of salt and a good grind of black pepper.
- Mix well and spread out on 2 large baking trays lined with greaseproof paper. Roast in the oven until golden-brown and completely soft – about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Place the black garlic cloves in the small bowl of a food processor with a third of a teaspoon of salt, 2 tablespoons of oil, 2 tablespoons of yogurt and the lemon juice. Blitz for a minute, to form a rough paste, and then transfer to a medium bowl. Mix through the rest of the yogurt and keep in the fridge until needed.
- Heat the remaining 110ml of oil in a small saucepan on a high heat. Add the garlic and chilli slices, reduce the heat to medium and fry for about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the garlic is golden-brown and the chilli is crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the garlic and chilli on to a kitchen paper-lined plate.
- Arrange the aubergine slices, overlapping, on a platter. Spoon the yogurt sauce on top, sprinkle over the chilli and garlic and finish with the herbs.