Burnt Aubergine with Garlic, Lemon & Herbs

Adapted from a recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi

from Jerusalem: A Cookbook

3 large aubergine

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1x lemon, finely grated zest and juice

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

generous handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

generous handful mint, finely chopped

flaky sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Begin by burning the aubergines.  Cut a few long slashes through the skin of each one,  and put onto the grill of a hot barbeque.  Turn regularly and cook until the skin is black and flaky, and the flesh is soft - about 15- 20 minutes.  This is my preferred method for doing this - by far the easiest and least messy.  Alternatively, after slashing the aubergine skins, place them on a baking sheet in the oven under a hot grill (you may call it a broiler in your part of the world).  This will take about an hour in the oven, and you should turn them every 15 to 20 minutes so that they become blackened all over.

Remove the aubergines from the heat and leave until cool enough to handle.  Cut in half lengthwise, scoop out the soft flesh in long strips and discard the blackened skin.  Put the flesh into a sieve set over a bowl and leave to drain for at least an hour - longer if you have the time.

Put the drained flesh into a medium-sized bowl, mash with a fork, and add in the chopped garlic, grated lemon zest (reserving a little for garnish), lemon juice, olive oil, a generous pinch of flaky sea salt and a good grind of black pepper.  Set aside and allow to stand for a good hour or more at room temperature for the flavours to develop.

Stir in the herbs, adjust the seasoning as necessary, and pile into a serving bowl.  Drizzle over a little extra olive oil and garnish with the remaining lemon zest.