Ingredients for 4 people:2 large aubergines (approx. 1 kg) 150 g whole fat, thick natural yoghurt (Greek yoghurt is ideal) 8 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil4 cloves of garlic ½ tsp chilli pepper (finely chopped) 1-2 tsp lemon juice salt to taste
First of all, peel the garlic cloves and leave them for an hour to infuse in the olive oil, in the same bowl where you will prepare the sauce. In this way you’ll have the aroma of garlic in the sauce, without the “smell” in your mouth. If you’re a real garlic lover, finely chop a clove to mix in with the sauce when it is ready. Wash the aubergines, cut off the piece at the base of the stalk, and prick them all over with a fork. Heat the oven to 200 °C and lay the aubergines, whole, on the grill rack in a baking tray (to “protect” it oven from any liquid that may drip out, line the tray with a sheet of foil). Cook the aubergines for about half an hour or until, pricking them with a fork, the flesh has softened. Take them out of the oven and leave them to cool down, then remove their skin with the help of a knife. If some of the flesh should remain stuck to the skin, scrape it off with the blade of the knife. Drain the flesh of all its liquid by squashing it with a fork, then put it through a manual food mill with large holes: It should be coarsely ground. Remove the oil and garlic from the bowl and put the pureed aubergine into it. Add the yoghurt, lemon juice, salt (to taste), chilli pepper and, one spoonful at a time, the olive oil (from which you have removed the garlic) mixing everything together well.
This sauce is both delicate and spicy. It’s delicious on crackers or on slices of toasted bread to make crostini, as well as served as a dip with bread sticks or vegetables (carrots, fennel, celery, endive, cleaned and cut into sticks) for an aperitif or an unusual starter.
According to your taste, you can add a few capers or gherkins, drained of their liquid and finely chopped, or small pieces of ripe tomato, deseeded and patted dry, stirring them into the sauce.