How to make Ottolenghi’s eggplant and pomegranate salad

Summer days are salad days in my book.  When the days are hot and long you don’t really want to be stuck in the kitchen with a hot stove.   One of my all time favourites is this eggplant and pomengranate salad created by the legendary Yotam Ottolenghi.  As regular readers of this blog will know I am a huge Ottolenghi fan and now that I sadly no longer live around the corner from Ottolenghi’s Notting Hill store I am relying more than ever on his recipe books.
The colourful salad
I have made this salad countless times and I love the contrasting flavors and vivid, exuberant colors which make it look just so good on the plate.  I was inspired to whip it up again and finally share it with you when a box of yoghurt was delivered to my door as a sample from the lovely people at Chobani.  As delicious as the yoghurt is, there is only so much you can eat on its own so I put the creamy yoghurt to good use in a dressing for the salad flavoured with lemon, garlic and saffron.

Mixing the yoghurt with garlic and lemon juice
Ingredients
2 eggplants
Olive oil for brushing
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
Large handful of pomegranate seeds
Large handful of basil leaves
Salt and pepper to season
Yoghurt dressing
1 small pinch of saffron strands
3 tbsp hot water
180g thick Greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
1 garlic clove, finely crushed
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt
Frying the eggplant
1.  Start by making the yoghurt dressing. Place the saffron strands into glass, pour over the hot water and let infuse for 5 minutes. 
2.  Pour the infusion into a bowl containing the yoghurt, crushed garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and some salt. Whisk well to get a smooth, golden sauce. Taste for seasoning and chill until ready to use. (Can be made up to 3 days in advance).
3.  Cut the eggplants into 1 cm thick slices and brush both sides with oil then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill on a very hot frying pan until soft and golden brown, then flip over and fry the other side until golden brown as well. (Ottolenghi suggests roasting the eggplant in the oven for 20-30 mins, but I didn’t want to use the oven).  
4.  To serve, layer the eggplant onto a platter and drizzle with the saffron yogurt dressing, sprinkle with toasted pine nuts, torn basil leaves and pomegranate seeds.
Adapted from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook.
Posted by: on March 15th, 2012     11 Comments »

Category: Recipe - Lunch
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11 Comments on “How to make Ottolenghi’s eggplant and pomegranate salad”

  1. Sarah, Maison Cupcake said at 11:17 pm on March 15th, 2012:

    Love this, there’s just something about Ottolenghi ingredient combinations that stands out isn’t there?

    I bet a branch of Ottolenghi would go down a storm over there but at least in its absence his recipes are completely do-able at home. Must dig him out again, I’m craving sweet potatoes now just thinking about it ;-)

  2. Campari & Soda 楊靜安 said at 7:44 am on March 16th, 2012:

    Yum! looks gorgeous will be trying out once the weather turns.

  3. Loveforfood said at 2:04 pm on March 16th, 2012:

    That close up shots are making me to grab food from the screen….so drool worthy

  4. Laura said at 2:46 pm on March 16th, 2012:

    I officially live in Ottolenghi (every morning for coffee on the way to work!). Great recipe! And what a gorgeous blog too! x

  5. The Grubworm said at 2:56 pm on March 16th, 2012:

    I love this recipe, it is also one of my favourite ones from the book. There is just one ting I disagree with, and that is this: “there is only so much you can eat on its own”. I can et gallons of thick Greek style yoghurt on its own without drawing breath once ;)

  6. Matarkivet said at 4:12 pm on March 16th, 2012:

    I’ve tried this recipe too, and I adore it. Love the whole Plenty cookbook!

  7. A Lady in London said at 6:09 pm on March 16th, 2012:

    Hi! I was just in Beirut over the weekend and used your posts on the city to get some tips for places to eat! Thanks for sharing. I had some really good meals there!

  8. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures said at 10:00 pm on March 16th, 2012:

    OMG yuuuuuum! Eggplant is the best!!!!

  9. Gourmet Chick said at 9:15 pm on March 18th, 2012:

    Sarah – Yes he uses very distinctive flavours and ingredients – love all the yoghurt and lemon in his recipes.

    Campari and Soda – I hear it already is turning?

    Love for food – It is a really pretty looking dish, but all of Ottolenghi’s recipes are like that, he is very into presentation.

    Laura – My husband used to do that as well, they would start getting his coffee ready when he came in. One morning he spotted Gwyneth Paltrow in there – so it is quite the place to hang out for your morning coffee!

    The Grubworm – Aha a Greek yoghurt addict I see…

    Matarkivet – It’s hard to pick a bad recipe isn’t it?

    A Lady in London – Good to hear, I had such a great time in Beirut

    Andi – I know I could eat it all day literally.

  10. Jeanne said at 12:23 pm on March 22nd, 2012:

    Ohm I love pretty much everything of Ottolenghi’s I have ever made! Gorgeous flavours and colours in this salad – he is always spot-on with his contrasting flavours and textures. Will definitely have to try this :)

  11. Amy said at 8:40 am on April 16th, 2012:

    YUM! This looks incredible!!!


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