Ottolenghi’s Aubergines

As you have probably seen, the Ottolenghi ‘Plenty’ cookbook has been on my wish list for a while now.  I love vegetarian recipes, and Ottolenghi is the king of making vegetables the star of the show.  A couple of weeks ago I finally got round to purchasing it, and the recipe that really jumped out at me was the Buttermilk Aubergines.  I love food that is visually attractive as well as tasty too, and this one ticked all the boxes!  It’s a perfect sized starter for 4 people, and lovely served with some warm flatbreads or pittas.

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You will need:

– 2 Aubergines

– 80ml olive oil

– A few sprigs of lemon thyme

– 140ml buttermilk

– 100g greek yoghurt

– 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

– 1 garlic clove, crushed

– pinch of salt

– 1 pomegranate, de- seeded

Start by slicing the aubergines lengthways in half.  Score them four times across without cutting through the skin, and another four times in the opposite direction.

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Brush in the 80ml of olive oil all over the aubergines until they have absorbed it all.  Sprinkle over the sea salt and the lemon thyme and cook them in a 200 degree oven for about 35-40 minutes until they have gone lovely and golden.

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Whilst they are in the oven, make the buttermilk sauce.  Mix together the buttermilk, greek yoghurt, garlic, oil and salt in a bowl.

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Spoon it over the cooked aubergines, leaving the stalk poking out.  Then sprinkle over the pomegranate seeds and a few more sprigs of lemon thyme before serving. The recipe says sprinkle za’atar on top as well, but quite frankly I have no idea what that is or where one might find it, so I just stuck to lemon thyme!

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Get everyone to dive in and take an aubergine half, and make sure you serve it with plenty of warm pitta breads to mop up the sauce!

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