This is yet another anything-but-boring salad from Ottolenghi. A bunch of aubergines are cut into large slices and roasted until soft and brown. A drizzle of fresh yoghurt dressing, basil and pine nuts are added and the salad is finished with a good amount of fiery red pomegranate seeds. I bet there’s a farmers market near your house tomorrow, so find yourself some delicious, organic aubergines and go make this salad.
Recipe from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook
3 medium aubergines
olive oil for brushing
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
a handful of pomegranate seeds
20 basil leaves
coarse sea salt and black pepper
a small pinch of saffron strands**
3 tbsp hot water
180 g Greek yoghurt
1 garlic clove, crushed
2,5 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil
*I made this salad for our studenthouse-barbecue, so I – kind of – doubled the quantities.
**The name makes it pretty clear: it’s a saffron yoghurt. I’ve made this salad twice and the color of the dressing didn’t turn “golden” once. I don’t why this didn’t happen. There wasn’t a great difference in taste before or after adding the saffron, so next time I’ll just omit it. So feel free to add or omit the saffron.
For the sauce, infuse the saffron in te hot water in a small bowl for 5 minutes. Pour the infusion into a bowl containing the yoghurt, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and some salt. Whisk well to get a smooth, golden sauce. Taste and adjust the salt, if necessary, the chill. This sauce will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Preheat the oven to 220˚C. Place the aubergine slices on a roasting tray, brush with plenty of olive oil on both sides and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-35 minutes, until the slices take on a beautiful light brown color. Let them cool down. The aubergines will keep in the fridge for 3 days; just let them come to room temp before serving.
To serve, arrange the aubergine slices on a large plate, slightly overlapping. Drizzle the yoghurt over them, sprinkle with the pine nuts and pomegranate seeds and lay the basil on top.