Now that the cookbook's finally arrived, this is no doubt only the first of many Ottolenghi recipes that I will be blogging my own versions of. We've eaten this one from the shop, we've spent hours discussing how he gets his aubergines just right and whether the aubergine is actually the king of the vegetables or not, we've tried (and failed) to get this quite right at home. And now we know. Fabulous.
Aubergine, Pine Nut and Pomegranate Salad
handful of basil leaves
handful of baby chard leaves
3 tablespoons goat's milk yoghurt
1 garlic clove
Rinse the aubergines and cut them into thick discs, removing top and bottom slice. Brush them generously with olive oil using a pastry brush and place them on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake until soft and golden, turning half way through. In our rubbish oven this can take almost an hour.
Infuse a pinch of saffron in 2 tablespoons of boiling water for 5 minutes. Mix the infusion into the yoghurt along with the lemon juice and the crushed clove of garlic. Mix well until the yoghurt is a bright yellow colour.
Once done, serve the aubergines on a bed of red quinoa mixed with baby chard leaves (picked fresh from my window boxes!). Scatter with a handful of pinenuts (toasted if you wish) and pomegranate seeds. Finish by scattering with a handful of freshly chopped basil leaves, a twist of black pepper and several dollops of the yellow yoghurt sauce. We like the thick creamy St Helen's Farm Goats Milk Yoghurt.
And yes, I really do believe that aubergine is the king of the vegetables.