This recipe combines robust flavours – velvety, melt in the mouth eggplant, layered spicy nuances of harissa and the creamy tang of garlic yoghurt. The addition of harissa butter adds a smooth aromatic spiciness and the garlic yoghurt rounds out the dish with a piquant end note. A scattering of pomegranate seeds, dukkah, fresh herbs and lemon zest, pull the plate together into a harmonious whole of complex yet balanced flavours and textures. A luxurious vegetable-based dish to serve as a share plate, banquet or side.
For the roasted eggplant
- 4 medium eggplants
- 30ml olive oil
- 2 teaspoons harissa
- 80g butter
For the garlic yoghurt
- 200g Greek yoghurt
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 20ml lemon juice
- 2-3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
- 2 tablespoons dukkah
- 1 lemon, zested
- A handful of mint leaves
- A handful of dill sprigs
1. To roast the eggplants
Preheat the oven to 190˚C and line a baking tray with baking paper. Halve the eggplants lengthways and then, using the tip of a sharp knife, score the flesh (a diamond pattern works well) to about 1.5cm depth, taking care not to pierce the skin. Brush with olive oil and arrange the eggplants face down on the baking sheet. Roast for 35-45 minutes until soft and the cut side is golden. Keeping the eggplants face down, rest them for 5 minutes before turning them over.
2. For the harissa butter
In a small pan, melt the butter over a medium heat. Stir the harissa into the melted butter. Set aside and gently warm through before serving.
3. For the garlic yoghurt
Whisk together the yoghurt, garlic, and lemon juice. Season to taste and set aside.
4. To serve
Divide the garlic yoghurt between the serving plates and flatten with the back of a spoon, before carefully placing the eggplants onto the yoghurt. Drizzle with the harissa butter, a sprinkle of pomegranate and dukkah, then finish with the fresh herbs and a little lemon zest. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- The many layers of flavour in this dish are perfect with the delicious complexity of Audacious Merlot (209550), which contains beautiful notes of cherry, plum, floral and oak spice.
- The eggplant can also be cooked on a barbecue or griddle – about 5-10 minutes a side.
- Labneh or feta also work brilliantly with this dish as a substitute for the yoghurt.
- The yoghurt can be used as a drizzle – loosen with a little water until the desired consistency.
- You can pimp up the eggplant further with a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts and/or toasted pistachios.
As seen in spring/summer 2023