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food/drink


RECIPE


words HARRY SMITH www.ejcatering.co.uk


Baba Ghanoush


THIS Middle Eastern dip is a great addition to any summer buffet and is very simple to make. It is healthy and inexpensive, and can be served with some crudités before a meal, or with some grilled chicken or fish, or even as a sandwich filling! Tahini is a widely available sesame seed paste.


SERVES two. INGREDIENTS


2 large aubergines / Salt / 2 garlic cloves / 2 tsp cumin seeds / 100ml olive oil / 100ml tahini paste / Juice of 1 lemon


OTLEY BEERS: RATED


There are lots pastimes that require skill, brio and dedication to the cause, such as football, chess and bog snorkelling. Not so drinking. This is the beauty of last month’s Great Welsh Beer And Cider Festival, a community festival that unites the Welsh through the simple medium of beer. Or something. Otley Brewery’s wheat beer O-Garden was crowned Cham- pion Beer Of Wales 2010 and Best Speciality Beer, a result that effectively made it the judge’s favourite beer of the week- end. As a relative novice keen to taste ambrosia, I swigged my way through Otley’s catalogue at the festival, with mixed results. BEN BRYANT


OTLEY BREWERY 01 ABV 4.0% The first beer of the evening also happened to be Otley’s bestselling brew, accounting for a whopping 80% of sales. It was a light, pale ale that was very drinkable but still had a heavy whiff of hops. A solid starter. 3.5/5


O-GARDEN ABV 4.8% This was it: the Champion Beer Of Wales. The daddy of the festival. The judges’ favourite. And sure, O-Garden is a fine wheat beer, light, fruity and drinkable. Still, with an overpowering aroma of cloves and a bitter aftertaste, it wasn’t the pick of the Otley bunch for me. Disappointing. 3/5


O5 GOLD ABV 5.0% A light, American-style lager with a British twist, this is refreshing without being bland. A robust, hoppy finish, it’s perfectly bal- anced. 4.5/5


BUZZ 30


OTHELLO ABV 4% A brew that isn’t currently commercially available – and it’s pretty clear why. A dark, gentlemanly ale made with American hops, it tastes a bit like it’s been filtered through a fine smoking jacket. 2/5


THAI-BO ABV 4.6% This is more like it: a brand new brew fusing a pale wheat beer with lime peel, lemongrass and galangal, it has a really clean, refresh- ing taste reminiscent of a thai curry. A really silly idea that works very well indeed. Not available commercially, sadly. 5/5


O8 ABV 8.0% The final beer of the evening, weighing in at a devastating 8%. Terrifyingly drinkable. Smooth, hoppy and very sweet. A socially acceptable alternative to Special Brew. My judgement is probably a bit out by now, but this is loooovely. 4/5


PREPARATION • The best way to cook the aubergines is on a barbeque – the skins will char and blacken and impart a fabulous smoked flavour. I often throw aubergines on whole once I’ve finished cooking, and leave them to cook for the next day. They take about 45 minutes to cook. Otherwise, slice the aubergines into 1cm slices and fry well until golden on both sides.


• Pat them dry once cooled a little and puree them in a food processor.


• Crush the garlic and cumin seeds in a pestle and mortar and add this to the mix.


• Blend in the lemon juice, tahini and olive oil. Sea- son well with salt and pepper.


• This dish is served in many parts of the world with various seasonings. It tastes delicious with chopped mint and parsley. Some people will use a tablespoon or so of yoghurt mixed in, and some diced chilli and tomatoes are also often used.


pic: MONICA X CASTILLO


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