Eggplant is a great SCD legal and low FODMAP vegetable

In my vegetarian and vegan days, aubergine (or eggplant) has never been welcome on my plate. My most common experiences with it involved soggy, greasy chunks of hard skinned misery served as a supposed meat replacer in stews, curries and stir-frys. One memorable exception to this rule was melanzana sott’olio, an Italian preserve which loosely translates to eggplant in oil (I know, it sounds much better in Italian). Finger-licking deliciousness… I only sampled it a few times during one of the summers I spent working as a maid in Italy, and at the time, actually learned how to make it. The knowledge is lost to me now, but anyhow, it all probably depended on the home-made olive oil from the olive grove that the family I worked for used. Since then, eggplant and I generally avoided each other… until last year, when I achieved enlightenment. Baba ganoush! Somehow, I managed to live my whole life without sampling this delicacy. The smooth, creamy texture, the mellow yet rich flavour, perfectly complementing falafel wraps… Unfortunately, both falafel (chickpeas) and baba ganoush (garlic galore) are now a thing of the past. After a brief moment of silence to celebrate their memory, I rolled up my sleeves and set out to invent a low FODMAP aubergine dip suitable for SCDers. It is not baba ganoush – that really does need garlic – but I believe the current version is enough of a success to be shared.

A smoky eggplant dip is a great way to introduce flavour into an SCD legal and low FODMAP diet

Smoky Aubergine Dip

(yield: 1.5-2 cups, preparation: 20 minutes, total time: 40 minutes – 1 hour)

  • 1 large aubergine, or several smaller (~ 2 cups raw flesh)
  • 1/3 cup hulled tahini or 1/4 cup tahini and 2 tablespoons garlic-infused olive oil or 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch smoked paprika (optional)
  • olive oil to serve (garlic-infused if you can have it)

Cut the green end off the eggplant. If you fancy a very smoky, charred flavour, place the aubergine under a broiler set on high for ten minutes, turning occasionally so that the peel blackens and blisters. For a milder dip, omit this step. After charring, bake the aubergine at 380 degrees for 20-40 minutes, depending on its size – check for doneness with a fork, it should go right through with no resistance. Once ready, let it cool for a few minutes, then chop roughly and throw into a tall container. Add the remaining ingredients apart from the olive oil, blend with an immersion blender until smooth or until the broken up pieces of the charred peel are small enough for your liking. Serve with olive oil drizzled on top.

The smoky aubergine dip is a great way to add flavour to an SCD legal and low FODMAP diet

Now, let’s me re-iterate. While close, this is not quite a low FODMAP baba ganoush. There are some rules we must abide by and without garlic, Mediterranean cuisine is best given a wide berth. If you tolerate it (I don’t), using garlic-infused olive oil will bring the recipe a little closer to the original. Having said that, this dip is fantastically indulgent all the same! I cannot get enough of its buttery flavour, cut with the charred bitterness of the peel and the smoky hint of paprika. It works great  with low FODMAP (or SCD legal) bread, cold cuts of chicken breast or with lettuce wraps. For an appetiser, try serving it with low FODMAP crackers or veggies. Enjoy!

3 Comments »

  1. Sally says:

    Hi there, FYI you can also try adding a teeny bit of cumin powder, or a few chopped olives to vary your dip. Also, if you’re new to eggplant, try steamed eggplant. Again, revolutionary! Just peel and chop into chip shapes, and whack it in the bamboo steamer, or even the steaming tray in the top of your rice cooker when you next cook rice. Err on the side of overcooking than undercooking, and it’s simple, quick and quite addictive with any simple asian sauce eg a teaspoon or two of light soy sauce and a few drops of sesame oil. Cheers, Sally (a new fodmaper).

    • odrowaz says:

      Oh wow, great advice – thanks for sharing, Sally! Cumin is my favourite spice. I actually used to hate eggplant pre-low FODMAP (too many soggy vegan aubergine dishes…), but it’s definitely grown on me. I’m actually developing a recipe for a super simple aubergine-peanut dip, so stay tuned! :)

      • Jodie says:

        now i’m thinking why haven’t i ever thuoght of adding eggplant in pasta, apart from the usual baingan bharta and aloo-baingan that i mostly make with eggplants?! this is good, and your cabbage soup sounds very interesting so i’m off to that one now!

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