So colourful and packing a massive flavour punch... aubergine with its party pants on is a firm new summer favourite of mine! It's not quite substantial enough to stand as a meal on it’s own (well, certainly not for me!), but is great with a extra salad on the side, or perhaps some torn chicken, crumbled feta, or roasted tempeh in the mix. To add some bulk, cooked wild rice and a handful of rocket is absolutely delicious, it soaks up any excess dressing wonderfully. This is sort of half-a-recipe, if you will… what you add to it or serve it with is up to you!
The kefir adds a wonderful savoury tang and subtle fermented kick to the dressing – something I have entirely become addicted to of late – but plain yogurt, or even coconut yogurt if you’d prefer a vegan option, both work well.
The dressing quantity is sufficient for 4 people and you will need a high powered blender. The other ingredients are per person.
½ aubergine, per person
2 tablespoons olive oil, per person
1 clove of garlic
salt & pepper
small handful of toasted almonds, per person
2 spring onions, per person
a few sprigs of coriander or micro coriander, per person
For the dressing:
thumb-sized chunk of fresh turmeric
thumb-sized chunk of fresh ginger
½ clove garlic
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of light tahini (or nut butter of your choice, cashew is great here)
1 teaspoon runny honey
1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional, but fantastic!)
½ (or 125ml) cup kefir
salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 210 degrees.
First, toast the almonds in the preheated oven for 4 minutes; they’ll take on a deeper smoky and nutty flavour at this higher heat, and have a fantastic crunch.
Cut the aubergines into 1.5-2cm rounds, and score one side of exposed flesh with the tip of a sharp knife. Halve a clove of garlic, and rub the cut side onto the scored flesh of the aubergines.
Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, drizzle generously with olive oil, and season well with sea salt and black pepper. Give the aubergines a little mix and massage to evenly coat with oil etc.
Roast in the preheated oven for 18-24 minutes, depending on how much char you like, and how thickly or thinly the rounds have been cut.
Now prepare the dressing by simply peeling and coarsely chopping the ginger & turmeric, and peeling the garlic. Place all the ingredients into a high-powered jug blender and blend on a high heat for 2 minutes, to achieve a smooth and silky texture.
The dressing will keep in a jar in the fridge for a week.
Coarsely chop the almonds and finely slice the spring onions. Roughly chop the coriander. Prepare, mix, include any other ingredients you so desire! If you’re looking to plate up for the eye, I suggest a shallow dish; place down a few aubergine slices at a time, with a spoonful of dressing and a small scattering of toppings in between each layer, reserving the majority of both for the top.