The simple roasting of eggplant really lets the berberé aioli shine through. Although, this aioli would be equally delicious with all sorts of roasted vegetables. If you've never had berberé before, it's an essential spice blend to North African cuisine. I first experienced it in a cooking class I took last year. You can make your own by blending similar amounts of paprika, cardamom, cloves, ginger, allspice, fenugreek, black pepper and salt with a greater amount of cayenne pepper. The heat level can be adjusted by substituting more paprika for less cayenne, but I bought mine already blended and found myself adding a touch more cayenne to it for balance. Also important to note that it's the cayenne and fenugreek, that are essential to the berberé. —TiggyBee
For the aioli:
2 cloves of garlic
2 egg yolks at room temperature
1/2 cup canola oil, or other mild flavored oil
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Sprinkling of kosher salt
1 teaspoon berberé - or more!
For the Eggplant:
Extra Virgin olive oil
In This Recipe
To make the Aioli: mash the cloves of garlic in a mortar or bowl, into a paste. Sprinkling the salt over the cloves, helps to draw the natural oil out and makes it easier to get a paste like consistency.
Scrape the garlic paste into a deep bowl and add the beaten egg yolks to the garlic and whisk it all together.
Blend the olive oil and canola oil together in a vessel and start adding the oil to the garlic and egg mix very slowly, that is to say, the *drop at a time, kind of slowly* and whisk like crazy. As the aioli begins to thicken and emulsify, the remaining oil and then lemon juice can be added in a slow stream but be sure to whisk continually. I'm a lover of shortcuts, but for aioli, I prefer to whisk it myself. The call is up to you if you prefer a food processor.
Once the aioli has taken shape, whisk in the berberé and set aside and taste for any seasoning adjustments. Set aside and allow the flavors to meld.
Preheat oven to 450 f.
Wash and dry the eggplants and slice them lengthwise. Brush them with the olive oil and place them in the oven for about 15-18 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to slightly cool, before plating and serving with the aioli. A sprinkle of pink sea salt is really nice too!