This is another recipe I created for The Telegraph food pages last month.
The aubergine crisps were a bit of an experiment which I thought wouldn’t work as aubergines can be very soggy. This is where the salting comes in. I don’t usually bother salting my aubergines when cooking for myself, mainly out of laziness but also as I don’t know if it is always essential. In this recipe, though, it is essential. Salting the aubergines draws out the excess moisture which helps make them crisp up in the oven. Panko breadcrumbs are also a must as they bring the real crunch. Unfortunately the crisps can’t be cooked in advance as they will turn limp the next day, but if you need to save time you can prepare them and leave them in the fridge overnight.
The yoghurt dip is made up of 5 ingredients and can be ready in under a minute but looks quite pretty and the flavours are really interesting.
Yoghurt, tahini and pomegranate molasses dip with panko aubergine crisps
Panko aubergine crisps
4-6 as part of a mezze
85g panko breadcrumbs
1-2 small cloves garlic, finely chopped
15 sprigs of parsley
A little oil for drizzling
Cut the aubergines width ways in very thin rounds, approx. 3-5mm wide.
Put a few layers of paper towel down on a large flat surface and lay the slices out, side by side, on top of it. Generously salt each of the slices; this will help draw out the excess moisture as well as seasoning them well. Place more paper towels on top of the aubergines and press down with your hands to squeeze the liquid out. Leave the aubergines for as long as possible (you can leave them overnight but an hour minimum), using fresh paper towels to squeeze down on the slices every now and again.
Pre-heat the oven to 190oC (fan oven) and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
Put the panko, breadcrumbs, garlic, parsley and a few grinds of black pepper into the food processor and pulse until everything is finely chopped and combined. Put this mixture into a bowl.
Put the flour in another bowl and beat the eggs (starting with 2) in another bowl.
Take one slice of aubergine and dip it in the flour, covering it well. Shake off the excess then, dip it in the egg, shaking off any drips. Lastly, dip the slice in the breadcrumb mix, pressing down so that both sides are coated well. Put the slice on your prepared baking tray and do the same with the rest of the aubergine. Depending on how many slices you have you may need to whisk another egg to use, or add more flour.
Drizzle a little oil over your aubergine slices and put them in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until golden and crispy, turning them over with 10 minutes to go so that both sides are cooked well.
Let your crisps cool then eat them immediately with the yoghurt dip.
Yoghurt, tahini and pomegranate molasses dip
4-6 as part of a mezze
500g full fat Greek yoghurt
2-3 tbsp. tahini
2-3 tbsp. pomegranate molasses
A handful of pomegranate seeds
A handful of fresh mint leaves, roughly torn
A pinch of salt
Spread the yoghurt onto a plate and use the back of a spoon to create ripples in the surface.
Spoon over some tahini, then drizzle over pomegranate molasses and sprinkle over a touch of salt.
Sprinkle over some pomegranate seeds and mint.
Serve immediately with the aubergine crisps.