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Sumac crusted BBQ lamb with Roasted Eggplant with Saffron Yoghurt from Ottolenghi The Cookbook

2010 January 26

I am a slave to fashion, blind and devoted. I’m not talking about clothing, I’m too short and round for that. No, rather I’m talking about cookbooks and food. A while back on Twitter, I heard some people talking about The Ottolenghi Cookbook.  Ha? Wha? What’s that? I wondered. I did a bit of googling and found out more. What I found surprised and pleased me and led me to buy the book as soon as I saw it. These two guys, and Israeli and a Palestinian, got together in London and opened their place in 2002 at Notting Hill. They describe it as a:

“Food shop, patisserie, deli, restaurant, bakery. A place with no single description but at the same time a crystal-clear reflection of our obsessive relationship with food.”

My kind of guys. Also, they’re guys that focus very much on vegetables. Something I found interesting flicking through the book in comparison with many others, where a protein is usually star of the show with vegetables being the back up singers.

I came to this recipe after trawling through a pile of my cookbooks and heaps of chatter on Twitter. I went to Marrickville Markets this morning to visit Katie and Beau who run a stall with beautiful produce from their farm in Orange along with produce from other local producers. I wanted to wait and see what caught my eye before deciding on today’s recipe, and what caught my eye was big, beautiful and round eggplants. I grabbed one and bought it home thinking of combining it with the gazillion cherry tomatoes, basil and zucchini I had also bought, but the couple of Italian cookbooks I flicked through didn’t really rock my world, and the more Chinese style of recipe required ingredients that would have meant a walk to Chinatown. So then I thought of Ottolenghi remembering it’s veggie bent, and boy was I happy I did. It had a heap of recipes with eggplant. I picked the one that wasn’t hard and that I had most things for. I just needed to grab a pomegranate (I know *shamefaced* out of season and imported) and pine nuts. Everything else I already had.

Roasted Aubergine (Eggplant) with Saffron Yoghurt

  • 1 large or 3 medium eggplant, cut into slices 2cm thick
  • olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • a handful of pomegranate seeds
  • 20 basil leaves
  • salt and pepper

Saffron Yoghurt

  • a small pinch of saffron threads
  • 3 tablespoons hot water
  • 180g Greek yoghurt
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2.5 tablespoons lime/lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat your oven to 200°
Place the eggplant in a roasting pan, and brush/splash oil over, season with salt and pepper and shake around to coat. Roast for 30 minutes or so until they turn golden. Let them cool to room temperature. The eggplant will keep in the fridge for 3 days (if you have any left over!)

Infuse the saffron in the hot water for 5 minutes. Pour the saffron infused water into a bowl with the yoghurt, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and some salt. Whisk well. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Pop in fridge until ready to serve.
To serve, arrange eggplant on a platter, drizzle with the saffron yoghurt, sprinkle with pine nuts and pomegranate seeds, and top with basil leaves.

Sumac crusted bbq lamb

  • Lamb backstraps or fillets
  • Sumac

Coat lamb with sumac
Throw on bbq until done to your liking
Serve with salad

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7 Responses leave one →
  1. January 26, 2010

    Wow! So colourful 🙂 I think i could adjust this to make it vegetarian.. Thanks for sharing 🙂
    .-= Ladybird´s last blog ..Australia Day Cupcakes =-.

  2. January 27, 2010

    Beautiful!! And I love the story of these 2 guys working together.

    BTW I’ve been inspired by your cookbook challenge to also go through my cookbooks and use them more. I’ve cooked a traditional “creme caramel” last night from Justin North’s “French Lessons”. FAILED. It tasted perfect but looked as flat as a sock. Need to try again ; – )

  3. January 27, 2010

    London seems to have a few of those restaurants/shops/delis and it’s always a bonus for a shopper like me as I can pick up things while eating out! This looks great- perhaps a modern meat and veg dish? 🙂
    .-= Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella´s last blog ..Ruby’s Diner, Waverley =-.

  4. pommiefoodie permalink
    January 27, 2010

    God that looks good! Love aubergines as well. Middle eastern food – I’m cooking more & more in this style I find – specially since I preserved a few lemons a year ago.

  5. January 28, 2010

    Love all the colours and can just imagine the contrast in textures!
    .-= mademoiselle délicieuse´s last blog ..Epicure Recipe Card #20: Spaghetti alla Puttanesca =-.

  6. January 31, 2010

    That is very indeed very colorful! And it seems delicious too. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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