When Hetty arrived at our friendsgiving with this gorgeous dish, we were blown away by amazingly complex flavor profile. The recipe is simple, but the taste is anything but. Plus, the presentation is beautifully festive thanks to the vibrant baby spinach and juicy pomegranate arils. Send your thanks in advance along to Hetty; we have a feeling this delectable appetizer will be gracing your holiday menus for years to come!
Smoky baba ghanoush with Roasted Cauliflower and Pomegranate
By Hetty McKinnon | Arthur Street Kitchen Serves 4-6
1 medium (1kg) cauliflower, cut into florets
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1⁄2 cup cilantro leaves
Juice of 1⁄2 lemon
1 pomegranate, seeds extracted
Smoky baba ghanoush
4 large eggplants, flesh poked with the tines of a fork
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 tbsp tahini paste
Juice of 1 lemon
1-2 tsp chipotle powder
1 tsp cumin powder
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper
A few drops of pomegranate molasses
To make baba ghanoush, place the whole eggplant (make sure you poke them with a fork so they don't explode!) directly on the flame of a gas hob, turning occasionally for about 12-15 minutes until the skin is charred. Alternatively, broil the eggplants in the oven by adding them to a baking tray and placing under the broiler. Turn the eggplants every 15 minutes or so and cook until they become very soft, and the skin is charred all over, about 1 hour.
When cool enough to handle, carefully peel the blackened skin off the eggplant. Place the eggplant flesh and any juices into a large bowl and break up with a fork, leaving the pieces quite chunky. Add tahini, garlic, lemon juice, chipotle, cumin and olive oil and mix with a fork or whisk until combined. Adjust amount of lemon juice, chipotle and oil to achieve the right smoky, creamy balance. Season well with a few good pinches of salt and pepper.
Heat oven to 400˚F. Coat cauliflower in olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Place on a baking tray and roast until golden.
On a large serving plate, spread the baba ghanoush. Layer the cauliflower, baby spinach, and cilantro leaves over the top. Drizzle with olive oil, a good squeeze of lemon juice and season well with sea salt and black pepper. Scatter over pomegranate seeds and drizzle over a few drops of pomegranate molasses.