Sunday, June 06, 2010
Ottolenghi's roasted aubergine with saffron yoghurt
Ottolenghi's new book, Plenty, is just out, and I've already bookmarked several recipes from the book that I'm keen to try. Meanwhile, I'm still in love with their first book, Ottolenghi: The Cookbook. I've blogged about their bright and beautiful cucumber and poppy seed salad already (and I've made it twice). I've tried their orange florentine cookies twice. But there's a dish I've made thrice at home, as well as twice at a Middle Eastern cooking club session I hosted few months ago. That's their fabulous recipe for roasted aubergine (eggplant) with saffron yogurt. I cannot imagine anyone not liking this salad (well, perhaps if you hate aubergine/eggplant and saffron :)) - it's bright and colourful, with contrasting textures and bold, interesting flavours. I've followed the recipe pretty much to the letter, apart from roasting the aubergine slices on a hot griddle instead of the oven, and slicing them into rounds as opposed to wedges. Highly recommended (if you like aubergines and saffron, that is :))
See also Meeta's beautiful version of this recipe. Her beautiful and detailed posting almost discouraged me to blog about the salad, but then it's my favourite dish, too :)
Roasted aubergine with saffron yoghurt
(Röstitud pommud safranijogurtiga )
2 medium-sized aubergines
olive oil for brushing
2 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted
a large handful of pomegranate seeds
a large handful of basil leaves
sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
a small pinch of saffron strands
3 Tbsp hot water
200 g thick Greek yogurt
1 garlic clove, finely crushed
3 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
sea salt flakes
Start by making the sauce. Place the saffron strands into glass, pour over the hot water and let infuse for 5 minutes. Pour the infusion into a bowl containing the yoghurt, crushed garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and some salt. Whisk well to get a smooth, golden sauce. Taste for seasoning and chill until ready to use (Can be made up to 3 days in advance).
Cut the aubergines/eggplants into 1 cm slices (cross-wise). Brush both sides with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill on a very hot griddle pan until soft and golden brown, then flip over and fry the other side until golden brown as well. (Alternatively - and originally - roast for 20-30 minutes in a 220 C oven). (This can also be done up to 3 days in advance. Keep the roasted aubergine slices in the fridge, but bring to room temperature before serving).
To serve - layer the roasted aubergine slices onto a serving dish, slices slightly overlapping. Drizzle with saffron yogurt, sprinkle with toasted pine nuts, torn basil leaves and pomegranate seeds.