In an attempt to eat more healthily and have more nights at home after an indulgent summer, we have been making our way through Ottolenghi’s The Cookbook one page at a time. This cookbook is full of delicious, fresh and healthy recipes that never cease to impress me (and, if we have them, our dinner guests). Many of them require a few too many ingredients, putting them straight in the ‘too hard’ basket, but most are nice and easy and always result in happy diners.
We were recently very impressed with this one and simply had to share it. It’s colourful, vibrant and fresh, with lots of bold flavours. It works as a great starter or side dish with roast chicken and more veggies.
3 medium aubergines, cut into 2cm thick slices
Olive oil (for brushing)
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
Fresh pomegranate seeds
A large handful of fresh basil leaves, kept whole
Coarse sea salt and black pepper
A pinch of saffron strands
3 tbsp hot water
180g Greek yoghurt
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 ½ tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 220C. Place the aubergine slices on a baking tray, brush with plenty of olive oil on both sides and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2. Roast for around 30 minutes until they are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let them come to room temperature.
3. Whilst the aubergine is cooking, make the sauce. In a small bowl, infuse the saffron strands in the hot water for 5 minutes. Pour this infusion into a larger bowl containing the yoghurt, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and a pinch of salt.
4. Whisk these ingredients together well until you have a smooth, golden sauce. Taste it and add more salt/lemon juice if necessary and then refrigerate.
5. Once the aubergine has cooled down, arrange the slices so they overlap each other on a large serving plate. Drizzle the saffron yoghurt generously over them and sprinkle with the pine nuts, pomegranate and finally the basil leaves. Enjoy!