5 medium eggplants, trimmed 1.4kg
120ml cup olive oil, plus extra to serve
150g cup plain yogurt
10g ounce basil leaves
20g ounce pine nuts, toasted
coarse sea salt and black pepper
Black garlic dressing
50g ounces peeled black garlic cloves
1 ½ teaspoons rose harissa or regular harissa (I omitted this)
1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
2 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon urfa chile flakes (or a pinch of regular dried chile flakes)
½ teaspoon cocoa powder
50ml olive oil
Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C (390°F/220°C convection).
Cut each aubergine in half lengthwise, and then again widthwise. Cut each section into wedges about 3cm wide and 10cm long, and place in a large mixing bowl along with the olive oil, 1 tablespoon of salt, and a good grind of black pepper. Mix well, then spread the eggplants out on two parchment-lined baking sheets—you don’t want them to be overcrowded—skin-side down. Roast in the oven for about 30-40 minutes, until well cooked and golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Place all the ingredients for the dressing in the small bowl of a food processor, along with ¼ teaspoon of salt. Blitz for about 2 minutes, until a very smooth paste is formed. This seems quite stiff but is loosened by the water from the aubergines.
Place the aubergines in a large mixing bowl. Add the garlic dressing and use your hands to stir very gently: you want the aubergine to be coated without disintegrating completely. Leave for an hour or so, if there is time to spare. Spread the yogurt out on a platter or individual plates and arrange the aubergine wedges on top. Sprinkle over the basil leaves—tearing the large ones as you go—and the pine nuts. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and serve.
First off, I have to apologise for not having taken a picture of the dish I actually made. This one is borrowed, because I made this as part of a BBQ for the Neighbours (both Across the Street and in the Big House) and finished it as we were sitting down to eat, so didn't get the opportunity. However the dish (and an asparagus one which I will also post, but also don't have a picture of) went down well. so it is worth preserving them in this archive, so I don't have to hunt in my diminishing memory for what it was.... This was unsurprisingly more of a hit with Grown Ups than children - but I think that goes for anything with Aubergine in.
The dish is of course an Ottolenghi - this one from the Nopi cookbook which the Boy very kindly bought me for my Birthday recently. So summer is here for a while, and Ottolenghi to the fore.
The urge for this dish was that I happened (as one does) to have some black garlic in the house. I had been to the Chinese Supermarket near us and spied some - I have tasted it before but never cooked with it so bought a couple of bulbs. Apparently they sell it in Morrisons now, it is so mainstream (although whether Morrisons would actually have any in stock is an entirely different question...) So I bought it - made a black garlic Pizza with some and had some left for this. Try it if you havent already. The taste is mild, sweet and savoury - balsamic and licorice kind of flavours. It goes well I imagine with other meaty things, such as Aubergine and this dish could easily make a vegetarian main course I think.
It was a hit, and so here it is. I think I will make it again,