This is a show stopping meal which is great any day of the year & is a feast for your eyes as well! The flavours of Persia in a brightly coloured salad. Great all year round and super simple to put together.
Again, this was inspired by the wonderful book A Modern Way To Eat. There it is called “Ezekiel’s charred aubergines with babaganoush.” I reworked it a bit to include some hummus as a base instead of lettuce (since I didn’t have any). This recipe requires a grill or grill pan of some sort to make the char marks on the aubergines/eggplants. Also you need to allot yourself at least 30 minutes for them to soak out their bitter juices, as this allows them to cook more evenly & absorb all the juices from the dressing. I am obsessed with aubergines & all the flavours of this dish come together so well. Give it a go & see for yourself 🙂
I have included the recipes for how to make your own simple hummus & babaganoush but in a bind feel free to buy your favourite. Mine is Sabra!
Chargrilled Aubergine & Sweet Potato Delight
Serves: 2 for main or 4 for starter
Serve With: Babaganoush & flatbread & wraps. Add in your favourite carbonated beverage and you have a meal!
Ingredients: babganoush dressing (if you want to make your own)
- 2 aubergines
- 1 preserved lemon, deseeded and very finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 60ml natural yoghurt or unsweetened soya yoghurt
- 1 tbsp tahini
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large or 3 small sweet potatoes, peeled & cut into long wedges
- olive oil/coconut oil
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, bashed in a pestle & mortar or ground up in a coffee/herb grinder, or pre ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, bashed in a pestle & mortar or ground up in a coffee/herb grinder, or pre ground cumin
- 1 large aubergine, topped & tailed, then cut into 1cm discs, salted & drained of bitter juices
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1x 400g chickpeas, drained
- 2 small cloves garlic, minced
- salt & pepper
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 50g flaked almonds, toasted
- seeds from 1 pomegranate
- a bunch of fresh mint, leaves picked & roughly chopped
- a bunch of fresh parsley, leaves picked & roughly chopped
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped, or 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- Preheat the oven to about 200˚C/fan 180˚C/gas 6/400˚F. While this heats up get started on the babaganoush & hummus (if you are making your own). First off get the hummus going. Get a sauce pan out, put the chickpeas in, and add boiling water. Salt the water a bit and let cook for about 30 minutes on medium high. Drain these then add to a food processor. Whiz until broken down, then add the garlic, tahini, salt & pepper, along with a splash or two of lemon juice. Whiz that up a bit more, add some olive oil to taste and set aside.
- Next up is the babaganoush. If you have a gas hob, then use your biggest gas ring for this. Otherwise a smoking hot griddle pan will do the trick! Prick the skin of the aubergines, then place directly onto the flame/pan. Use tongs to turn them every minute or so, to ensure even cooking & colour on all sides. Once the aubergines are charred & feel soft right through (after about 10 minutes), take them off the heat & set aside to cool. Once they are cool enough to handle, cut them in half lengthways, and scoop out the flesh, leaving the skin behind. Put the flesh into a bowl with the rest of the babaganoush ingredients, season with salt & pepper, and mix well with a fork. Make sure to mash up any big bit you come across. Set aside in a serving bowl.
- Pop the sweet potatoes into a large roasting tray. Drizzle with olive oil or coconut oil & the lemon juice, scatter over the cumin & coriander seeds, season with salt & pepper and toss this all together to everything is incorporated evenly. Roast these bad boys in the oven for about 15 minutes.
- Take your aubergine discs, dry off any excess salt & bitter juice, then get your griddle pan/grill to a high heat, smoking hot pretty much if you need a reference point. Spray some oil on, and then pop the aubergines on. Make sure each side gets thoroughly charred, 5 min each side approx. Once they get the proper char marks, add to a roasting tray with some extra virgin olive oil & set into the oven with the sweet potatoes to let them roast for another final 15 minutes together.
- If using gem lettuce quarters, use the griddle for the char marks. Otherwise you can move that hot thang out of the way!
- Remove the sweet potatoes and aubergines from the oven. They should both be crisp on the outside & soft on the inside. If not, pop them back in & give them a few more minutes.
- To Serve: Make little swirls of hummus on your plate. Lay the sweet potatoes & aubergines on top. Scatter the toasted almonds, pomegranate seeds, chopped herbs & chilli. Finish with a good drizzle of the extra virgin olive oil & squeeze of lemon juice. Serve with a big bowl of the babaganoush & warm flat breads. Makes an excellent lunch in wraps as well.