For this week’s 5-2 offering I’ve drawn inspiration from the big, bold, genius flavours of Yotam Ottolenghi once more. As usual the offering on my plate has been dictated not by careful recipe planning, but whatever is available in my pantry. On the spur of the moment. Right now.
In my refrigerator? Three beautifully bulbous shiny purple eggplant. On my fruit bowl? A pendulous pomegranate, it’s blushing scarlet exterior holding the promise of a trove of impossibly sweet, bright ruby red arils. Casting an eye over this bounty I ask myself ‘What would Yotam cook?’ I truly can’t think of a more enjoyable way to throw together a meal.
Fortunately, enamoured as I am by Yotam’s style, I’m the proud owner of an impressive stack of his cookbooks. A ready reference of fresh and fabulous recipe ideas. Whilst I adore his latest offerings Jerusalem and Plenty More, this time I’ve meandered down memory lane to where it all started for me, at least, through the well thumbed, food spattered pages of my much loved copy of his debut tome Ottolenghi The Cookbook.
I love how simple and unfussy this salad is to prepare. Whilst your eggplants are roasting in the oven, all that’s left to do is to raid the herb garden for fresh parsley, split open a pomegranate and whisk up a saffron infused yoghurt dressing. A gorgeous plate of food, ready in no time at all, for under 200 calories a serve. With it’s gorgeously lush yoghurt dressing, it’s almost a fast day recipe in disguise.
Roasted Eggplant Salad With Saffron Yoghurt And Pomegranate
Serves 4 (193 calories per serve)
Adapted from Ottolenghi The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi (page 29)
3 medium eggplant, cut into 2cm thick slices (270 calories)
2 tablespoons olive oil for brushing (240 calories)
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts (116 calories)
1/4 cup fresh pomegranate arils (instructions on how to seed a pomegranate here) (36 calories)
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves (4 calories)
coarse sea salt and black pepper
a small pinch of saffron strands (2 calories)
1 1/2 tablespoons hot water
1/2 cup (90g) plain Greek yoghurt (95 calories)
1 small garlic clove, crushed (4 calories)
2 tablespoons lemon juice (6 calories)
a pinch of sea salt
For The Roasted Eggplant
PREHEAT oven to 220 C. Line two large oven trays with baking paper.
ARRANGE eggplant slices in a single layer over the prepared oven trays, brushing each slice lightly with olive oil on both sides. Season with salt and pepper.
ROAST for 20-35 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool before assembling the salad.
For The Saffron Yoghurt
INFUSE saffron in hot water for five minutes until rich yellow in color.
PLACE yoghurt, garlic, lemon juice and a good pinch of sea salt into a bowl. Pour over saffron infusion. Whisk well together until sauce is smooth and golden.
SEASON to taste, then chill. Sauce will keep in fridge for up to three days.
To Assemble The Salad
ARRANGE roasted eggplant on a large platter in slightly overlapping concentric circles.
DRIZZLE over saffron yoghurt, followed by a scattering of pine nuts and pomegranate seeds. Finish with a shower of picked parsley leaves. Serve at room temperature with extra saffron yoghurt on the side.