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Chermoula Eggplant with burghul salad via Ottolenghi

2010 October 18

Tonight for dinner I was craving vegetables..I am very partial to broccoli and always end up chowing down on it when I’m feeling lazy and vegetable deprived, but this afternoon I went searching for inspiration and simplicity. After all, it’s Monday.

When it comes to vegetables Yotam Ottolenghi is akin to Matisse or Picasso. A master of modern art! I found this recipe and was immediately smitten. Straighforward, no fuss, and mostly with bits and pieces I have at home. I’ve made some substitutions and additions which are noted below.

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped preserved lemon skin [I had no preserved lemon left, used lemon rind]
  • 140ml olive oil, plus extra to finish
  • Salt
  • 2 medium aubergines/eggplant
  • 150g fine burghal
  • 50g sultanas [I used dates, chopped]
  • 10g fresh coriander, chopped, plus extra to finish
  • 10g parsley [my addition]
  • 10g fresh mint, chopped
  • 50g green olives, halved [omitted]
  • 30g flaked almonds, toasted [omitted]
  • 3 spring onions, chopped
  • 1½ tbsp lemon juice
  • 120g Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tbs toasted sesame seeds [my addition]
  • 2 tbs toasted pumpkin seeds [my addition]

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. To make the chermoula, mix together the garlic, cumin, coriander, chilli, paprika, preserved lemon, two-thirds of the olive oil and half a teaspoon of salt.

(Or get yourself the Herbie’s Spices version and mix with a splash of oil, and some water till paste like then spread on eggplant)

Toast the seeds in a hot pan gently for around a minute or until golden and fragrant

Cut the aubergines in half lengthways and score the flesh of each half with diagonal, crisscross lines, making sure not to pierce the skin. Spoon the chermoula over each half, spreading it evenly, and place on a baking sheet. Roast for 40 minutes, or until the aubergines are very soft.

Meanwhile, place the burghul in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak the sultanas in 50ml of warm water for 10 minutes, then drain and add to the burghul, or add the dates at this point. Stir in the herbs, olives, almonds and/or seeds, spring onions, lemon juice and salt, taste and add more salt, if necessary.

Serve the aubergines warm or at room temperature. Place one half-aubergine per portion on a serving plate, spoon bulgar on top, allowing some to fall over the sides, spoon over a little yoghurt, sprinkle with chopped coriander and finish with a dribble of olive oil.

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15 Responses leave one →
  1. October 18, 2010

    I love my vegetables too especially broccoli, I love the yogurt that goes on top of these veggies, great idea

  2. October 18, 2010

    His recipes just don’t miss, do they? That’s definitely on the list for a meat-free Monday. Or a Tuesday. I like the addition of the seeds for a crunch…

    How was the SIFF event?
    Injera´s last post..A rant

  3. October 18, 2010

    Yes, so far all the recipes I’ve tried have been bang on; and Delicious!

    I was, however, underwhelmed, with his appearance at the Chefs Showcase, but more to do with the fact that I already knew who he was, and what he did. But, the star of the session for me, apart from Abla Ahmed, was a guy called Kamal Mouzawak, google him! He was wonderful, intense and passionate, and not a chef 😉

  4. October 18, 2010

    This is a great recipe. I tried this one a few weeks ago and loved the contrast of sweet and savoury with the sultanas and the olives. Shame on you not having any preserved lemons! lol

  5. October 19, 2010

    So many ingredients, but then you realise it’s nothing, cos you already have them in the house. That’s the beauty of Ottolenghi. That and the brilliant flavours 😀
    OohLookBel´s last post..Melbourne Eating- Movida Next Door

  6. October 19, 2010

    Ooh, wonder if I should try making this next week? Not yesterday but Monday last week, I tried out Ottolenghi’s cauliflower cake recipe. It went down well, even with the carnivores blinded for their lust with meat!
    Gem´s last post..a place to drink- but only drink

  7. October 19, 2010

    Beautiful Reem! I’m going to buy me a copy of Plenty next pay I think. I am loving my veges at the moment, especially Middle Eastern dishes. I love the combination of vegetables, spices and grains. Delicious and filling!
    felixexplody´s last post..Self preservation

  8. October 19, 2010

    oooh this looks like my kinda meal! I love the addition of greek yoghurt!
    Lisa´s last post..Time to roll

  9. October 19, 2010

    No! Felix buy Ottolenghi! I actually think it’s a better book. Most if not all the recipes from Plenty are also available from the Guardian website

  10. October 19, 2010

    I’m a bit vegie obsessed too. And I don’t quite understand why people don’t like broccoli. Brussel sprouts on the other hand…not fond of. I think I need to ask for this cookbook for Christmas!
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella´s last post..Rescuing Food- A Day With OzHarvest!

  11. October 19, 2010

    Looks great! I’m always on the look out for interesting veggie recipes.. I have most of those ingredients in the cupboard and I bought eggplant this week. I’m thinking this could be dinner tomorrow night (though I would use quinoa rather than bulgur due to the wheat factor). Thanks for the recipe and I’ll let you know if I make it!

  12. October 19, 2010

    Thanks for the tip babe! Because it’s published in the UK I can buy it in good conscience from Book Depository for half the price, right? Right. 😉
    felixexplody´s last post..Self preservation

  13. October 21, 2010

    “Yotam Ottolenghi is akin to Matisse or Picasso”…I love that!
    And so, the dish must have delicious. Ottolenghi’s recipes are so original.
    Joyti´s last post..Blackberry Champagne Layer Cake

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