This creamy, garlicky, ackee eggplant dip was a “stumbled across” recipe. For the most part I have a list of ideas and work from there but sometimes I’ll have bit of ackee left over from a previous recipe and throw it in to what I’m making and that’s how this dish came about.
It was 7:30 in the morning; two hours before I had to be at work with a few tasks to accomplish before setting out. The week had been pretty hectic up that point, scanning the fridge I noticed that the eggplant which was to become ratatouille or eggplant parmesan with was in the use it TODAY or lose it zone. I despise throwing food away and so losing it was not an option; I settled on a dip which would be somewhere between “choka” and “baba ganoush” (Trinidad Choka and Middle Eastern Baba Ganoush are made in a similar fashion. The basic idea is: roast the fruit/vegetable (tomato, pumpkin, eggplant etc); crush/mash/puree and combine with desired aromatics; done!).
Once the eggplant was prepped (rubbed with oil and a few cloves of garlic inserted into slits made) I popped it into the oven to roast then did a quick sauté of the ackee with some onions and tomatoes. Reheated what was left of the roasted Brussels sprouts, then went about my business till it was time to peel and puree the eggplant.
Tip: When you roast eggplants or peppers and need to remove the skin. Take them from the oven and place them in a bowl while still hot. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit for a few moments. The steam and condensation makes it easier to peel.
Once I was satisfied with the taste of my dip, I smeared it onto the plate all restaurant like 😆then topped it with the sauté. I have some pistachio oil which I’ve been playing around with for salad or drizzled on random things so I used that but you could use olive oil or any other flavored oil you like. I miss the smoky flavour you get when you roast eggplants on a gas stove or open fire so I sprinkled some of the smoked sesame seeds for an attempt at some smoky flavour (most definitely not the same thing and far from sufficient but at least they added a pretty colour contrast, I may consider getting liquid smoke since it will be a while before it’s warm enough to roast anything outside). After plating I quickly shot these photos and even had time to wolf down a few bites before running out for work 😄
So what do you think? As always feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below. if you make this or any of the recipes from this site be sure to #amazingackee and @amazingackee so I can see your posts across social media.
Until next time, thanks for stopping by 😊
Ackee and Eggplant Dip
- 1 large Eggplant
- 3 to 5 cloves of Garlic cut in half
- 2 tbsps Tahini
- 1 cup Parboiled ackee warm
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt, pepper & hot pepper* to taste
- Optional garnish: sautéed ackee, roasted brussels sprouts, fresh chopped herbs, oil, sesame seeds etc
Preheat oven to 450F.
Make a few slits in the eggplant and insert the garlic pieces. Rub lightly with oil and place on baking tray.
Roast eggplant till soft (this may take anywhere from 35 minutes up to an hour). When done, place in a bowl while still warm and cover with plastic wrap.
Peel and discard the skin and place the flesh in the bowl of a food processor. Add tahini, lemon juice and ackees. Puree till smooth then add salt and adjust seasoning to your liking.
Spoon into a bowl to serve as a dip or plate as desired.
*I like to use granulated scotch bonnet pepper