Everybody loves this salad.
It looks so pretty and elegant. It’s absolutely delicious and it’s really easy to prepare.
I’ve been making this for so long, it feels like my recipe, but I can’t take the credit. It’s the brain child of Yotam Ottlenghi when he first started out but I’ve tweaked it over the years.
I love the vibrant colours, the combination of textures and just the most delicious taste! This is the perfect salad to brighten up any Summer lunch. I’ve made this for people who have declared that they won’t go near an aubergine with a barge-pole…and they’ve gobbled it all up before I can say, “oh goodie, all the more for me”. Having the aubergine (or eggplant for our American friends) cooked in this way and eating it at room temperature brings out the amazing taste of the aubergine without it being too overpowering for the aubergine-haters amongst you.
It’s not really relevant but I love the word aubergine. Being someone who is beyond terrible at languages it always makes me feel (probably completely wrongly) very exotic…especially if you lower your voice and do your best Marilyn Monroe style husky whisper. Good grief, I know what you’re thinking…she sure knows how to be super sexy. I bet you tried that just now though didn’t you? Anyway, luckily for you, you came here looking for recipes and not dating tips…
Eggplant might not be as sexy a word to say, but boy can you have fun with it…here’s a little egg-plant.
Anyway, back to the important stuff. It’s such a simple recipe that it is incredibly easy to double up or increase if you are feeding lots of people, but I will tell you how to make it for four people to get you started.
Cook the aubergine ahead of time, as this salad is best eaten at room temperature. You can always cook the aubergine the day before and keep it in the fridge. Then just take it out of the fridge an hour before you want to eat.
- 1 large aubergine
- ½ pomegranate
- few sprigs of basil, I love using Greek Basil because it's so pretty and delicate, but you can definitely use normal basil too
- 300ml plain yoghurt
- juice of ½ lemon
- few strands of saffron
- 1 clove of garlic
- salt and pepper
- Slice your aubergine into ½ cm slices. You should be able to get about 12 slices from a large aubergine.
- Heat a large non stick frying pan and add a little glug of olive oil. Remember that aubergine is like a sponge and it will soak up as much oil as you give it, so go easy on the oil.
- Once the pan is nice and hot, fry the aubergine until it's lovely and golden. You may need to do this in batches.
- Remove the aubergine from the pan and place flat on a baking tray or something similar so that they can cool down. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt. Taste one to make sure you've seasoned it enough, otherwise you risk it being bland.
- When you are ready to eat, lay the slices of aubergine out onto a large plate. I think they look prettiest when they are just overlapping, but not piled up on each other.
- Sprinkle with the seeds from ½ pomegranate. This is easiest if you hit the pomegranate all over with a wooden spoon to loosen the fruit inside. Give it a really good bash all over. Then cut in half and place the pomegranate over a bowl facing downwards and then then bash it again with the wooden spoon and the pips should fall out very easily.
- Sprinkle the pomegranate over the aubergine.
- Loosen the yoghurt with the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and add the crushed garlic. You can always add a little dribble of water to loosen it further so that it's of dressing consistency.
- Drizzle the dressing over the aubergine and then adorn with a few basil sprigs.
- This is a lovely salad to serve with some grilled lamb chops or perhaps a roasted chicken thigh. Truly delicious.