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garlic

  Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip

“In fine, the truffle is the very diamond of gastronomy.”
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip … earthy, rustic, nutty, slightly tangy, creamy, smoky delicious. Some things come together with small beginnings, and for strange reasons. This dip was no different and found it’s origins in a wizened old forgotten pomegranate that I discovered while cleaning out the fridge. Also popped out a bowl that held an eggplant I had roasted 2 days ago, a small carton of Greek yogurt, and the plan was made.Eggplant Walnut Smoked Truffle Dip & pomegranates It was going to be a Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip which would use up all the goodness that lay forgotten in the fridge. Also a chance to use some fabulous Black Truffle Sea Salt from Olive Tree Trading, a special product that really shines when used. It might be an expensive product, but a little goes a long way. On pasta, on toast, over dips, on artisan bread, in pasta sauce, over popcorn, on salads; really steps up the flavours!

Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip With it of course some really really good quality extra virgin olive oil from the same company, a product that speaks for itself. As always, a dish is only as good as it’s ingredients and this Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip was just that. You could always use sea salt but a black truffle sea salt is a noticeably charming addition, quite different.Olive Oil & Black Truffle Sea SaltThe rest of this Persian inspired dip has humble origins, almost staple pantry ingredients. How can you go wrong with eggplant {or baingan as locally called}, walnuts, garlic, yogurt and olive oil? Not possible right? Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip

Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip And the good thing is that if you blend it smooth, picky eaters can’t figure out what’s in this pâté like dip. It’s a win win; a delicious one at that too. Serve with wholegrain crackers, crudites etc. Great as a sandwich spread, with crusty wholegrain bread, etc.

Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip
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A simple recipe with humble origins, this Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip is a great addition to the party table. Serve with wholegrain crackers, crudites etc. Great as a sandwich spread, with rustic wholegrain bread, etc.
Servings Prep Time
3-4 minutes 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3-4 minutes 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 15 minutes
Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
A simple recipe with humble origins, this Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip is a great addition to the party table. Serve with wholegrain crackers, crudites etc. Great as a sandwich spread, with rustic wholegrain bread, etc.
Servings Prep Time
3-4 minutes 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3-4 minutes 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: minutes
Instructions
  1. Wash and pat dry the eggplant. Make 4-6 slits around and tuck in unpeeled garlic cloves.
  2. Roast over a low open gas flame, or in oven until charred all over and soft.
  3. Place in a bowl covered, until cool enough to handle. gently peel the charred skin off, squeeze out the garlic from pods. {This can be done a couple of days in advance and refrigerated}.
  4. Place all ingredients in bowl of processor or blender and process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  5. Transfer to a bowl, drizzle generously with good quality extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle over some black truffle salt, garnish with pomegranate pearls. Serve with wholegrain crackers, crudites etc. Great as a sandwich spread, with rustic wholegrain bread, etc.
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Olive Oil Walnut Garlic Rosemary Foccacia

“If thou tastest a crust of bread, thou tastest all the stars and all the heavens.”
Robert Browning

This Olive Oil Walnut Garlic Rosemary Foccacia is bursting with flavour, topped with everything I love and more. To get an even heartier bread, you could even double the toppings, maybe knead in some extra walnuts, olive and cheese through the dough after the first rise. These are thoughts that race through my head as I write, things I would definitely consider doing for my next artisan loaf. I know that will be sooner than later!

Olive Oil Walnut Garlic Rosemary FoccaciaThat’s just how good this bread was. As you might have noticed, I’ve been baking a lot more artisan bread of late. The recent Cheese Garlic Rosemary Eggless Brioche is another great bread, almost similar flavours, though that was cheesy good to the core! Then of course another favourite, the Wholewheat Garlic Oat Soda Breadrustic, moorish, earthy and wholegrain. While kneading dough is therapeutic and a lot of fun, I think I’ve become a little lazy.

Olive Oil Walnut Garlic Rosemary Foccacia I find myself turning to the trusted stalwart on my counter, the Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer. That paired with the great quality bakeware they offer makes the whole process so pleasing, so fuss free. Baking bread  is something I’m doing more and more, often wholegrain, sometimes part wholegrain. With dough making sorted out, the mixer kneading in the background, I reach out to flavours my bread might like.Olive Oil Walnut Garlic Rosemary Foccacia It’s often fresh herbs as they grow in my little patch, especially rosemary, as long as it lasts. This past harsh summer killed one of my two precious little plants; the second is kind of surviving. The other thing I like to add is nuts, walnuts in particular. Drizzled with olive oil, they toast up quite beautifully on top of the bread. The rest is pretty optional, whatever catches my eye really. Olives, sun dried tomatoes, mature cheddar, garlic, garlic greens, finely sliced mushrooms, sunflower seeds etc.Olive Oil Walnut Garlic Rosemary Foccacia Use herbs and nuts of your choice, play around with ingredients, but do make this. I think a sweet version with saffron and pistachio might work great here too. Maybe a grape foccacia. The recipe  results in a light, airy, easy to form bread, a dough which behaves beautifully if kept in the fridge overnight as well. Plenty of good quality extra virgin olive oil is key for a Olive Oil Walnut Garlic Rosemary Foccacia like this.Olive Oil Walnut Garlic Rosemary Foccacia

Olive Oil Walnut Garlic Rosemary Foccacia Nothing like  a bowl of salad and a crust of artisan bread. Once the weather gets cooler, maybe some soup to complete the meal. Until then, we’re just happy to keep it light with the Olive Oil Walnut Garlic Rosemary Foccacia & a Roasted Beet, Chickpea, Red Onion, Walnut Salad.

Eggless Wholegrain Almond Jaggery Oat Cookies Note: The beautiful ceramic ware is from a local ceramic artist, Anumita Jain, from Delhi. You can find her at A Clay Story. I think you’ll see a lot more of her art in my frames now, like in the Eggless Wholegrain Almond Jaggery Oat Cookies featured above {recipe coming soon}. Her pottery is very inspiring.

Olive Oil Walnut Garlic Rosemary Foccacia
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
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Nothing better than fresh home baked bread, and this Olive Oil Walnut Garlic Rosemary Foccacia is bursting with flavour. The Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer and their great quality bake-ware make baking breads so therapeutic, so fuss free. Use herbs and nuts of your choice, play around with ingredients, but do make this.
Servings Prep Time
2 loaves 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 1 hour
Servings Prep Time
2 loaves 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 1 hour
Olive Oil Walnut Garlic Rosemary Foccacia
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
Nothing better than fresh home baked bread, and this Olive Oil Walnut Garlic Rosemary Foccacia is bursting with flavour. The Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer and their great quality bake-ware make baking breads so therapeutic, so fuss free. Use herbs and nuts of your choice, play around with ingredients, but do make this.
Servings Prep Time
2 loaves 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 1 hour
Servings Prep Time
2 loaves 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 1 hour
Ingredients
Servings: loaves
Instructions
Starter
  1. Place warm water, honey and yeast in bowl of stand mixer. Stir and leave for 5-10 minutes.
Garlic Rosemary Dough
  1. Add remaining ingredients to bowl of KA stand mixer fitted with dough hook. Stir to mix on speed 2, then knead for 5-7 minutes on speed 4 until the dough is smooth and elastic. Add a few spoons of wholewheat flour if the dough is too wet, or a tbsp or two of water if too dense. We are looking for a soft dough.
  2. Form into a ball, drizzle over with a little olive oil, cover the bowl with cling-wrap or a wet kitchen towel. Leave to rise in a warm, draft free place for an hour or two until doubled.
  3. Preheat oven to 200C.
  4. Divide dough into 2, knock back a little and make 2 balls. Flatten gently into the base of a lightly oiled round baking tin. I used the Kitchen Aid non stick 9" pie pan. All their bakeware is excellent.
Topping
  1. Make indents into the surface, generously pour over extra virgin olive oil, allowing it to get into the indents.
  2. Scatter fresh rosemary, walnuts, olives and Himalayan pink rock salt over the top.
  3. Drizzle a little more extra virgin olive oil over.
  4. Leave covered with a kitchen towel until the oven preheats.
  5. Bake for approximately 30 minutes until golden brown and done. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip“As while other passions in your life may, at some point, begin to bank their fires, the shared happiness of good homemade food can last as long as we do.”
Jenni Ferrari-Adler

Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip is perhaps the yummiest dip I have made in a while. From an out and out eggplant hater, to one who got sold over a smokey roasted eggplant {or brinjal or ‘baingan’ as referred to here locally} one fine day, the journey was uneventful. There are some things I just will not touch with a barge-pole. Eggplant was one of those. For a long time. Until 3 years ago.

Persian Roasted Eggplant  Walnut DipThen one day I tasted a Baingan ka Bharta made by a lady who used to cook at my mothers. The flavours had me captivated, and her style of cooking this quintessential Indian vegetarian dish had me smitten. Garlicky, smokey, earthy, firey was what she presented on the table that memorable day. One bite down, and I chased her for the recipe. Simple as ever, it was a game changer for me. Then came a dip I tasted at Ruchira’s place more recently. Sold again!Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut DipThis Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip is inspired by both the recipes. The twice used garlic from the bharta, and the creaminess from the dip. Can there ever be too much garlic? For me, no. I love it with a vengeance, and here the roasted garlic pods with eggplant bit gives the dip subtle undertones. The caramelised sweet onions and garlic add more depth to the flavour. I love adding walnuts to dip so in they went, while the Greek yogurt adds the right creaminess that the dip demands. All in all it has a lot to offer. Go ahead and add some roasted paprika to it if you like, maybe some pomegranate pearls to give it a juicy pop of flavour and colour. Persian Roasted Eggplant & Walnut DipIn the blender and smooth, this barely takes time and is a great make ahead party option. It also doubles up as a useful ‘sauce‘ for wraps, or a sandwich spread if you like. I served the Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip with these equally earthy Rosemary Garlic Sesame Millet Crackers I made recently. The more garlicky, the better! And of course, since the dip was ready and sitting there, I decided to experiment with it for a few pictures.Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut DipJust different backgrounds, angles, light, what have you! Some work, some don’t, but the important thing is to keep experimenting. Darter & yours truly have announced our next Food Styling & Photography Workshop  in Delhi this September, our 5th one here, so it’s always fun to experiment and share ideas. Food Styling and Photography Workshop Sep 2016I tell the participants to try and shoot everyday, to constantly experiment with different backgrounds, angles, light and moods. I do just the same.

Food props, Food styling, Food Photography

Food props, Food styling, Food Photography, Flatlay, World Photography DayEveryday. With whatever I have on hand. If I haven’t baked or cooked something ‘image worthy’, then I just grab raw produce, knick-knacks or props from an earlier shoot, things lying on my desk, stuff I like, then shoot them in frame. It’s a huge learning process, and therapeutic too. The important thing is to experiment, to keep your mind open. I can never say that enough!

And that’s how I got to this delicious Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip too, with an open mind!

Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip ... earthy, smokey, moorish, delicious!
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
This Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip has a lot to offer. The twice used garlic, the walnuts, then the creaminess from Greek yogurt make it endearing. The caramelised sweet onions and garlic add more depth to the flavour. Play around with ingredients to suit your palette. That's the beauty of dips.
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip ... earthy, smokey, moorish, delicious!
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
This Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip has a lot to offer. The twice used garlic, the walnuts, then the creaminess from Greek yogurt make it endearing. The caramelised sweet onions and garlic add more depth to the flavour. Play around with ingredients to suit your palette. That's the beauty of dips.
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Roasted eggplant walnut dip
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Cut 1/2" slits into sides of eggplant and push in 4 cloves of unpeeled garlic. Roast over low flame {or under broiler} until charred {like for baingan ka bharta.} Leave covered in a bowl to cool.
  2. Remove garlic and press out roasted pods. Discard skin. peel off charred skin of eggplant. Chop roughly. {Can be done a day or so in advance}
  3. While the eggplant is cooling, heat ghee in heavy bottom pan and caramelise onions and garlic.
  4. Place in cooled eggplant with with caramelised onions & garlic and remaining ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Stir in chopped chives. Taste and adjust seasoning. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and keep for a couple of hours/overnight for flavours to mature. Top with chopped walnuts and chives.
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