2 large aubergines (about 650g)
1/4 tsp black pepper
Juice of 1 lemon, plus a little extra
2 tbsp tahini
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tbsp chopped mint or flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
green olives, for garnish
Sweet paprika, for garnish
Blacken the aubergines over a gas hob or barbecue, turning regularly with tongs, until completely charred and collapsed (you may wish to surround the rings with foil, as it can be messy). Allow to cool.
Slit the aubergines lengthways and scoop out the flesh in long strands, discarding the skins. Put in a sieve and leave to drain for 30 minutes, or squeeze out if you’re in a hurry. Season with the black pepper.
In a serving bowl, stir the lemon juice into the tahini until it loosens up. Add the garlic and two-thirds of the chopped herbs, and season again to taste. Add a squeeze more lemon juice if necessary.
Mash the aubergines gently with a fork, and then stir into the tahini mixture. Top with the remaining herbs. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and spread with the back of a spoon to form a shallow well.
Drizzle the olive oil over the top and sprinkle with the parsley.
Place the olives around the sides, along with the sweet paprika
Serve at room temperature.