Melintzanosalata (Aubergine Dip) and Cherry Tomato Sticks

Ainsley sizzles a sure-fire success for the barbecue with this fabulous recipe for aubergine dip with griddled cherry tomatoes
By Ainsley Harriott
Melintzanosalata (Aubergine Dip) and Cherry Tomato Sticks
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the tomato sticks

  • 450 g cherry tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 24 small bay leaves
  • 4 tbsp olive oil

For the melintzanosalata

  • 1 large aubergine
  • 1/2 lemon, juice only
  • 4 extra virgin olive oil
  • good pinch of ground cumin
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 2 tbsp Greek yogurt
  • black pepper

Method

1. If using wooden skewers, soak them in cold water for 30 minutes - this helps prevent them from scorching on the barbecue.

2. To make the cherry tomato sticks, thread 3 tomatoes onto each skewer, alternating them with a slice of the garlic and a bay leaf.

3. Pierce the aubergine near the stem end with a fork (this will prevent it from popping during cooking), and place on to a medium-hot barbecue.

4. Cook for 20 minutes, turning occasionally, until the skin is really black and starting to blister, and the flesh feels tender in the centre.

5. Cut the aubergine in half lengthways and scoop out the flesh into a pestle and mortar. Mash to a rough puree, and mix in the lemon juice.

6. Very gradually, whisk in the olive oil as if you were making mayonnaise (the mixture will thicken very slightly). Stir in the ground cumin, garlic, parsley, and yogurt, and season to taste.

7. Brush the cherry tomato sticks with the olive oil and cook over medium-hot coals for 4-5 minutes. While they are on the grill, turn them every now and then, until they are just soft and the skins have split. Season with a little salt and pepper.

8. Spoon the melintzanosalata (the aubergine dip) into one or more bowls and drizzle with a little olive oil. Serve with the cherry tomato sticks.

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