An Aubergine Story: Cultured Smoky Eggplant Dip

This is a recipe I have been anticipating for a couple of years now. There are a couple ways to do this. I would consider this the trickier but as I have yet to try the other method we will go with it. Let’s call this the classical method.

Enter the humble aubergine. Eggplant, for the Americans. I love it, but many don’t. My favorite thing about aubergine is how well it roasts up with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. It behaves like a mushroom in this way, but the flavor, to me, is even more magical. I have been making smokey baba ganoush for years and it is one of my favorite dips for a Mediterranean spread… or just to sit over with my bowl of carrots and celery and devour all on my own. But how to culture it? It has been my mission over the past couple years to inject all my food with probiotics in the amazing old school method of fermentation. Old school preservation. No nasty stuff. No need for sugar. Just salt, water and wild yeasts.

Fermenting helps your microbiome (the life in your gut) and helps your neurotransmitters send health to your body and happy thoughts to your brain. For real.

So for this recipe I fermented aubergine and then proceeded to make baba ganoush with it, but it was missing something… That wonderful smokey flavor I loved was no longer there and the texture was off… I assume that if I were to let it culture much much longer it would be fine but as this was only cultured a week the result was a bit chunky. So I took the other half of my aubergines and quartered them, roasted them to blackened and divided them in bags: 2-3 a piece for freezing and 2-3 for this recipe, depending on size.

By the way I did this a long while ago but then promptly ate the whole thing and with all my daughter’s health issues never got around to posting it. Here it is now. I hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients

*If you want more authentic baba ganoush, put these optional ingredients in. If you want the more Romanian version, leave them out. Personally I have loved the latter for a change. You can even go heavier on the onion if that’s your jam.

Method:

Combine all ingredients in a food processor, including the olive oil as the aubergine is pre-fermented. Yay! Process until smooth.

Put in a pretty bowl and top with olive oil and hemp seeds, if you like. Obviously, I like.

Let me know how it goes for you!

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