Burnt aubergine, lemon and pomegranate

June 5, 2020
Family Verdict:


• 4 large eggplants
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed
• Grated zest of 1 lemon and 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
• 2 tablespoons chopped mint
• Seeds of 1/2 large pomegranate

1. Burn your aubergines by your normal method - I used the BBQ this time as it was lit and hot....If you have a gas range, line the base with aluminium foil to protect it, keeping only the burners exposed. Place aubergines directly on four separate gas burners with medium flames and roast for 15 to 18 minutes, until the skin is burnt and flaky and the flesh is soft. Use metal tongs to turn them around occasionally. Alternatively, score aubergines with a knife in a few places, about ¾-inch deep, and place on a baking sheet under a hot broiler for about an hour. Turn them around every 20 minutes or so, and continue to cook even if they burst and break.

2. Remove aubergines from heat and allow them to cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, cut an opening along each eggplant and scoop out flesh, dividing it with your hands into long thin strips. Discard skins. Drain flesh in a colander for an hour, preferably longer, to get rid of as much water as possible.

3. Place aubergine pulp in a bowl and add garlic, lemon zest and juice, olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Stir and let marinate at room temperature for at least an hour.

4. When ready to serve, mix in herbs and taste for seasoning. Pile high on a serving plate, scatter on pomegranate seeds, and garnish with remaining herbs.


Well with that list of ingredients it can only be summer and it can only be Ottolenghi.

Correct in both - well its actually late spring, but beautifully warm and sunny in amongst the misery of virus-imposed lockdown that is 2020 to date. The roses are looking magnificent and its time to break out the barbecue. This is made more complicated this year by the Eldest still being a vegetarian, but that is a challenge we accept. I prefer the salads and accompaniments to the burnt meat of the normal BBQ anyway.

I have made this before, but never photographed it so this time I did, and I think I caught the golden hour where the light was particularly good because the photograph looks very tasty and tempting!

This tastes as good as it looks, meaty silky aubergine with tart lemon and pomegranate. A lovely combination which needs well seasoning to bring out the flavours, and some good olive oil drizzling across the top too. Its scrumptious, so feel free to try it....I made a half quantity as I only had 2 aubergines to hand

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