Chermoula Eggplant with burghul salad via Ottolenghi
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
- 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.