Since being asked to make Babaganoush around 10 years ago and only having been vaguely aware of Yotam Ottolenghi’s weekly article in the Guardian, I researched and trialled various recipes from Local sweetcorn blanched carved from the cob with a cider vinegar dressing, a hint of chilli roasted red peppers and basil.
I discovered the joys of the burnt aubergine and lots the other exciting flavours coming out of the Middle East. I have my favourites, but am amazed at the new things that come up all the time that add to his expanding repertoire and other great restaurants in London.
We get a fantastic flavour when we burn our aubergines freshly using our barbeques. We can use them as a base for many dishes, or served straight away before the fridge has had a chance to dull the flavours. These dishes cannot be bettered.
Lamb marinated in Lemon and Thyme cooked over charcoal and apple wood is gorgeous and cannot be replicated in an oven with smoke flavouring. The use of chargrilled broccoli which has rarely been off Yotams menus over the last few years was a revelation I have copied across other cuisines. Fattoush is a great example of the lavish use of fresh herbs which gives middle eastern food its fantastic fresh flavours, His meringues subtly flavoured with rose water are superb and give just the right amount of crunch light fluff and sticky goo.