Another day in the Giro keeps us in the Netherlands. So, I bring you a smoky eggplant and cumin dip that is a modern Dutch recipe featured in Chef Yolanda van der Jagt’s cookbook Lekker Hollands. The original recipe called for an olde remeker or aged boerenkaas cheese, unfortunately, I could not find it at my local store. I, instead, substituted a nice strong Gouda aged 3 years. It was a very nice match with the earthy flavor of the dip.
If you are serving more than two or three people, be sure to double the recipe because this dip will go fast.
Eggplant and Cumin Dip
- 1 large eggplant
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- Lemon juice, to taste
- Salt & freshly ground pepper
- 1 lb (500 g) Olde remeker cheese (or aged ‘boerenkaas’ cheese) (Note: I used a Gouda aged 3 years)
Cut the eggplant into thick slices of approximately 1/2 inch thick (just over 1 cm). Sprinkle the slices generously with salt and allow to stand for 15-20 minutes, draining the moisture with kitchen paper. Heat a griddle pan. Brush the eggplant slices with some oil and grill on both sides until golden and cooked. Allow them to cool down a bit.
In a small dry frying pan, roast the cumin seeds.
Crush half the seeds in a pestle and mortar, while keeping the other half of the seeds to one side.
Puree the eggplant, freshly ground cumin, garlic and 2 tbsp of oil in a food processor until smooth.
Now add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Place the aubergine dip in a small bowl and garnish with the remaining cumin seeds.
Cut the cheese into thick wedges and serve with the dip and your favorite bread.