So this recipe is my mother-in-law's. I won't take the credit. Look, I've even put her name as the author! It's one of my absolute favourites, one of those side dishes that when I see it on the table I'm known to shout out in delight.
I managed to persuade her to host a breakfast recently where I could watch over her shoulder like a hawk trying to guesstimate the measurements, because unless you're writing or using a recipe you don't ever measure anything! (I miss those days). Anyway, there was no slowing her down or getting her to measure but I think I have managed to get it right. The other thing about home cooked Arabic food is that every household has a slightly different variation and I just found out that you can add chopped up, baked cauliflower to this, erm... yes please?!
AUBERGINE is a very good source of fibre, vitamin B1 and copper. B1 is responsible for strengthening the immune system but also helps us break down carbohydrate and some protein. Copper aids iron absorption and helps us form red blood cells.
Aubergines are also rich in phytonutrients one of which is nasunin which fights against free radicals in the body and is a powerful anti-oxident. Studies have shown aubergine to help with cardiovascular health too!
Start by chopping up your aubergine in to small-ish pieces, they actually don't shrink much in the oven so cut them to the size you'd like to eat. place the pieces in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil, just enough to coat then empty on to a baking tray.
Cut the top off a whole bulb of garlic a nestle it in with the aubergine. Drizzle olive oil over once it's on the baking tray.
Chop up a tomato, half a small red onion and a handful of parsley (I actually used more parsley than is shown in the picture below).
Mix the salad together and season with salt (taste and add more if needed).
Mix up the dressing, you might not need all of it but this is so nice over any salad, particularly roasted vegetables so just store any left in the fridge (if there's any left!)
SALATA BETINJAAN - AUBERGINE SALAD
The recipe should use pomegranate sour sauce, I've substituted this for some pomegranate molasses which is much sweeter but was the closest thing I had and just couldn't for the life of me find sour sauce in the supermarket. I can taste the difference so if you can find it buy it! It's in plenty of Arabic dishes and adds such a nice flavour to so many dishes.
SERVES 2-4 SHARING
PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOK TIME 30 MINS | TOTAL 45 MINS
Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius
Chop the aubergine and add it to a bowl, drizzle the olive oil over (enough to coat all pieces) and pour the pieces evenly on to a baking tray.
Slice the top off the garlic bulb and place on the same baking tray, drizzle a little olive oil over.
Bake for 15 minutes then mix the aubergine around a bit, bake for a further 15 minutes until all pieces are dark and soft and the garlic is squishy. Remove from the oven and let cool down together in a bowl.
While they're cooking chop the tomato, red onion and parsley and make up the salad dressing in a jar, shake it until it's nice and creamy.
Allow some time for the garlic to cool before squeezing each clove out and chopping up.
Add everything together in a bowl, add the salt, mix and taste. Add more if needed then add the salad dressing bit by bit. You may not need/want all the dressing it's totally up to you.
Put the salad in a decent looking dish if you have company and serve.