Aubergine And Tomato Relish Dip Served With Za'atar Flatbread

This middle eastern inspired dish makes the perfect snack or side dish. It's bursting full of flavour from the herbs and spices used in Middle Eastern and North African cuisines like cumin and fennel. And the sourness of the flatbread made using the discard from the sourdough starter, which you should never let go to waste, is perfect to balance out the savoury and sweetness of the tomato and also the charred aubergine which I used to make the baba ganoush.

Ingredients:

1 large aubergine

1/2 tbsp tahini

1/2 red onion

1/2 tsp fennel seeds

1/2 tsp coriander seeds

1/4 tsp cumin

2 garlic cloves

1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes

1 small preserved lemon

1 tbsp tomato paste

1/2 cup water

Extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt

Flatbread

1 cup fed sourdough starter

1/2 tsp sea salt

Some extra virgin olive oil

za'atar

Method

  1. Put your oven grill on. Poke holes into the aubergine. And place on a grill pan and let it grill for 30 minutes or until it softens and the fork goes all the way through. Make sure to turn it halfway through. When you take it out of the grill let it cool down, then peel the skin off or scoop the inside into a food processor. Add a tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 tablespoon of tahini. Blend on a slow setting until it looks slightly mashed. Taste to see if it needs more seasoning and then place it in a bowl.

  2. To make the tomato relish, add the fennel and coriander seeds to a hot pan on medium-high heat and toast for 3 minutes or so to release the flavour. Then add a tablespoon of oil to the pan, add thinly sliced red onions, and sauté until they soften then add in the crushed garlic cloves and chilli flakes. Sauté a little longer before adding in the tomato paste. Cook it down slightly then add the water. Turn the heat down to medium to low and let the relish reduce down and also add in the chopped preserved lemon and a pinch of salt. After 10 minutes or so, it should have reduced significantly. Add a little more oil and then remove from the heat and spoon on top of the aubergine dip.

  3. To make the flatbread, add a little oil to a frying pan on medium-high heat. To the sourdough starter add the salt and mix. Pour in the mixture into the pan (1 cup will do x2 small flatbreads) and top with a generous sprinkle of Za'atar and sea salt. When the bottom is golden, flip it over and let the top cook until it is golden too.

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