Aubergine slippers with coriander yogurt and black sesame crumb
A roast aubergine is about as meaty and satisfying as a vegetable can get, sweetly caramelised about the edges with rich yielding flesh. Paired with a creamy, fragrant dressing and toasty sesame crumbs it could easily be a main course with a simple salad on the side – double the quantities if you do this. If you have a sensitive gut, marinating garlic in oil allows you to enjoy the flavour without the consequences. Garlic is an important prebiotic however, so as your digestion improves, try making a paste with the garlic and adding this to the aubergine, increasing the amount as you tolerate more.
~ Naomi Devlin
6 cloves garlic
150ml olive oil
2 large aubergines
30g coriander leaves
125g live yoghurt
A half quantity of black sesame crumb
Take the papery skins off the garlic, slice thinly and pop into a lidded jar with the olive oil. Leave to macerate for at least an hour, but ideally 6-8 hours before straining out the garlic through a small sieve. Refrigerate the oil if not using within the next 24 hours and use within a week.
Preheat the oven to 195ºC or 175ºC fan. Slice each aubergine in half lengthways, through the stalk and score the flesh into diamonds with a knife, taking care not to puncture the skin. Place cut side up on a baking tray and drizzle the garlic oil evenly over the aubergine flesh. Sprinkle with a little sea salt. Roast for 45-60 minutes, until the flesh is soft and deeply golden on top.
While the aubergines roast, make the coriander yogurt. Put the coriander leaves, yogurt and a good squeeze of lemon juice into a blender and whizz until the sauce is a pale green colour. Taste for lemon, pour into a little bowl and set aside.
To serve, give everyone an aubergine slipper and allow them to help themselves to yogurt and sesame crumb.
Black Sesame Crumb
200g sourdough bread without crusts
4 tsp duck fat, chicken fat, bacon fat or olive oil
50g black sesame seeds
2-3 tsp nigella seeds (optional)
a couple of pinches of sea salt
Toast the sesame and nigella seeds in a dry frying pan over a medium heat for a few minutes, shaking constantly, until they start to pop and smell nutty. Pour into a pestle and mortar, allow to cool a little and then grind coarsely.
Chop the bread into very small pieces, none larger than your little fingernail. Heat the fat in a frying pan and fry the breadcrumbs over a medium heat, stirring often, until they are golden tinged and smell wonderful. Stir in the ground sesame & nigella seeds, season with salt and black pepper if you like and sprinkle over your supper.