Garlic Purée with Aubergine Crisps

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Appears in

Food of the Sun: A Fresh Look at Mediterranean Cooking

Food of the Sun

By Alastair Little and Richard Whittington

Published 1995

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Eat enough garlic and you will smell like a Marseilles cab driver. This is inescapable and fortunately no longer ensures social death in modern life-style-magazine-reading households. In this dip, the garlic is new-season’s for preference, which is much milder in flavour and less halitotic in impact, while repeated boiling of the cloves further reduces the pungency level. New-season’s garlic is available in Britain during May and June. Eat our puree and smell like the uniformed chauffeur of the mayor of Marseilles.


  • 4 heads of new-season’s garlic
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 150 ml/¼ pt thick plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 aubergine, weighing about 225 g/8 oz
  • sunflower oil, for deep-frying salt and pepper



Put the unpeeled heads of garlic in a pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, strain through a colander and refresh briefly in cold water. Repeat the process, this time peeling the cloves after refreshing them. Repeat the process yet again with the peeled cloves. (If you are very keen on alternative medicine, drink the water in which the garlic has been boiled. Like all things which taste foul, this is supposed to be good for you.)

Put the garlic cloves into a food processor with the olive oil and a ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Process to a purée, add the yogurt and process again briefly to mix.

Cut the aubergine across into thin slices.


Heat the oil to 180°C/350°F (a small cube of dry bread will brown in 60 seconds) and deep-fry the aubergine slices in batches until crisp. This takes up to 10 minutes and sometimes longer per batch. If they are not crisp, remove and increase the oil temperature to 190°C/375°F and plunge the crisps back in for about 30 seconds.. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt.


The resulting crisps are horrifyingly calorific but, when dipped into the garlic purée, make the drinks you have with them taste very special indeed.

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