Roasted Eggplant with Buttermilk Dressing recipe – inspired by the book-cover from Chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s Middle-eastern Plenty. This is the perfect show-stopper when having guests over.
You know they say don’t judge a book by its cover – clearly, this post isn’t about that! Being a book hoarder, I’m a little embarrassed to admit that sometimes I succumb to using recipes online. But there’s some books I turn to time and again (more than others), not just for their recipes and glorious imagery, but for a refreshing perspective on creating something flavorful with the simplest of ingredients. I have owned chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbooks (yes, all of them) for a while, but attempting to re-create this cover page star recipe seemed like the perfect ode to a chef who’s one of my biggest cooking-inspirations.
Ottolenghi's Roasted Eggplant with Buttermilk Dressing
- 1 large or 2 Eggplant - medium
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1.5 tsp Thyme Dried
- 5 cloves Garlic (finely minced)
- 2 tbsp Buttermilk
- 1 cup pomegranate pearls
- to taste black pepper Freshly cracked
- to taste Sea Salt
Slowly slice the eggplants into equal halves through the stalk. From the top of the flesh right up until the skin, make slits to resemble diamond shapes ( see image above).
Brush these with olive oil and sprinkle the dried thyme, sea salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 200xb0C and roast the eggplants for about 30-40 minutes. After the 20 minute mark, check every 10 minutes to ensure the flesh doesn't burn. When it looks done, remove from the oven and allow to cool down completely.
To make the dressing, whisk together the labneh and buttermilk to get a smooth velvety consistency. Add the minced garlic, zaatar, pepper and sea salt to taste.
Just before serving, pour over the eggplant, sprinkle the pomegranate seeds and a pinch of zaatar.