Back in the kitchen and it feels pretty good!
It’s been a while since I tried out a new recipe for an intimate dinner party. Taking advantage of the May Day public holiday, I decided to break out the Ottolenghi Recipe book that we’ve been kindly gifted by friends who were staying with us for a couple of days.
The Man picked the Oven-Roasted Pork Belly recipe to try while I settled on the Roasted Aubergine with Saffron Yogurt recipe to try as I managed to score a really nice piece of aubergine at the market earlier that morning.
The Man was rather skeptical about this dish for aubergines have never been a favourite vegetable of his. But for good measure, he gave it a try nonetheless and proclaimed it pretty yummy.
And guess who couldn’t resist getting in on the action while I was trying to photograph the dish. Again, it’s been a while since I indulged in any food-styling pix. Thought it would be good to jump in on the action and get my creative juices pumping. In order to capture the natural lighting, I had to take the shots in the garden. Passerbys who peered into my home thought I was crazy trying to photograph a plate with my camera perched on a tripod. @-@
But if I may add, this aubergine dish as a starter was really, really good! This recipe is definitely going into my book and will be appearing on our dining tables soon enough if we start our little dinner parties.
Roasted Aubergine with Yogurt [Recipe adapted from Ottolenghi's Roasted Aubergine with Saffron Yogurt starter]
- 1 medium aubergine cut into slices, 2cm thick
- olive oil for brushing
- 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
- a handful of pomegranate seeds
- a handful of basil leaves
- coarse sea salt and black pepper
- 150g of Greek yogurt
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- For the sauce, whisk yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and some salt well to get a smooth golden sauce, Taste and adjust the salt, if necessary, then chill. This sauce will keep well in fridge for about 3 days. [Note: the original recipe calls for saffron which I did not have on hand. But if you are interested, simply add a small pinch of saffron strands and infuse them into 3 tbsps of hot water in a small bowl for 5 minutes. Pour the infusion into the bowl containing the yogurt and additional ingredients and follow as mentioned above.]
- Pre-heat the oven to about 220 degrees Celsius. 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 about 20 – 35 minutes, until the slices take on a beautiful light brown colour. Let them cool down. The aubergines will keep in the fridge for 3 days; just let them come to room temperature before serving.
- To serve, arrange the aubergine slices on a large plate, slightly overlapping. Drizzle the yogurt dressing over them, sprinkle with the pine nuts, pomegranate and finally, lay basil on top.
Simply tuck in and enjoy, you won’t be sorry!