Call it however you want to: malidzano, caviar d’aubergines, aubergine spread, baba ghanoush, dip, you know what I am talking about. There is a million and one variation of mashed eggplant. This salad reminds me of home and it reminds me of summer. The abundance of sun soaked tomatoes bursting from every corner of the dinner table. This is best if the eggplants were roasted on the BBQ or grilled. But baking the eggplant in the oven does the trick too.
My mom rarely took out her wooden mortar and pestle, but this was one of those times. In the end, the eggplant is mashed, but there are partially torn stringy pieces that are amazing if you score them when dipping, cause then you get more tomatoey goodness just for yourself. Mom would start by puréeing the garlic with some salt, and then adding the roasted and drained eggplants to continue bashing them and then everything else.
Nowadays with all the gadgets, I don’t know who has a mortar and pestle. And one that is bigger than the tiny ones meant for spices. So, sad to say, I did mine in a food processor and it is perfectly smooth. I guess you can add whatever you want, if you want to come close(r) to baba ghanoush or something you’ve already had and like, but this is the basic recipe I grew up with and still the same made back home.
As always, and here especially, I am doing a complete guesswork and rule of thumb when telling the quantities. I don’t know a recipe exists for malidzano! hahah I whirr and taste, whirr and taste. You should too. That way you’ll know what you need more of or what you’d like to add that would make this spread delectable to you. If you think I’ve gone overboard on some things, add less.
*this is a very small amount. I used one medium sized eggplant. Please make more 😉
1 eggplant, washed
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper
1 tsp roughly chopped parsley
1 ½ – 2 tbsp crème fraîche
1 tsp mayo
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1. Preheat the oven to 200C.
2. Cut off the stem of the eggplant, cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and poke the skin with a fork or a knife a few times, to let air escape when roasting.
3. Oil a baking dish and swirl the cut side of the eggplant in the oiled dish to cover the eggplant with some oil, to prevent sticking. Put in the oven for some 40 minutes or until the skin starts looking craggly and collapsing. If unsure, give it a poke with a fork, it should have a soft flesh.
4. Take it out of the oven; let it cool in a colander so some of the water drips out.
5. Pull the skin off or scoop out the flesh. (if making more than one, you will have more water coming out of it. You might want to either squeeze it out with a tea towel, but not too much or leave it for a while in a colander and give it a squeeze or two to get some of it out)
6. Add the flesh in a food processor, add the minced garlic, 1 tsp olive oil and whirr.
7. Add the salt, pepper, crème fraîche, mayo and mustard and whirr again (if you don’t have mayo and mustard, that’s fine too. Or only sour cream – fine too)
8. Add the parsley, whirr again and taste.
Yield: 200 ml
I said it reminded me of summer: it’s only that we’d have it alongside BBQ. Having grown up eating BBQ surrounded by fresh salads, vegetables, grilled or not, to then see ketchup and all kinds of sticky, sweet, gloopy marinades…. makes me sad. So I would always want a fresh salad with my barbecued meat. And this. Always this. [Confession: did I eat half of today’s yield? – I am afraid so]