The thought process behind this recipe goes a little something like this:
I want something cheesy but not unhealthy for dinner, something veg-based with no grains, I kind of crave pizza, but don’t want to eat bloating dough, especially on a Monday, that’s bad, and also I want flavour but no meat because it’s Monday, oh I kind of fancy Turkish food, what about having feta, but it’s not indulgent enough by itself, I need something creamier, maybe I can make a kind of pizza with feta and some other cheese but on a vegetable, well maybe aubergines…
Yep this is a small insight into my thought process on my bike ride home. Pretty much every journey I make on that bike, to and from work, is completely taken up by food thoughts. Mostly, what’s in the fridge? What’s for dinner?. It kind of takes over. Maybe I should pay more attention to the road. Or maybe not because I’m still in once piece and get some head space to develop super yummy ideas like this one below.
You will need:
2 large aubergines
Handful basil leaves, torn
2 tbspns olive oil, plus extra to bake the aubergines
1/4 red onion, finely slices
Pinch of sumac, optional
1 tspn or so chilli flakes
1 tbspn pomegranate arils
1 tbspn pine nuts
1 tspn tahini
2 tbspn natural yoghurt
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 – Start by preheating the oven to 190 degrees. Prepare the aubergines by slicing them into thick (1-2cm thick) slices on a diagonal. You’ll end up with 3-4 decent slices per aubergine. Save the ends for another day.
2 – Lay the aubergine slices on a ball tray and brush with olive oil. Season and bake for 30 minutes or so until golden brown and soft, turning once to ensure an even colour. Brush the slices with more oil when you turn them.
3 – Meanwhile prepare the cheese. Mix together the feta and ricotta with 2 tbspns olive oil. Set aside til needed.
4 – Toss the onions in the sumac if using. Then move on to prepare the tahini sauce. Simply mix together the yoghurt, tahini and lemon juice with a pinch of salt.
5 – When the aubergine slices are ready, remove from the oven and add the toppings. Sprinkle over the onions, then pine nuts, half the torn basil and then divide the cheese mixture evenly between the slices. Scatter over the chilli flakes then add a small drizzle of the tahini sauce, saving the rest for serving.
6 – Return the aubergines to the oven for another ten minutes, then remove and gently transfer to a serving plate. Scatter over the remaining basil and pomegranate seeds and trickle a little extra tahini sauce over the top. You may not need all the sauce.