BABY AUBERGINE, CHERMOULA & GOATS FETA
25 baby aubergines
150g goats feta
A handful of fresh coriander, washed, dried & leaves picked
Salt & freshly ground pepper
For the Chermoula
1 large handful coriander, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbs ground paprika
1 Tbs ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp saffron threads, crumbled
3 Tbs avocado oil
1 lemon, zested & juiced
Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius.
Cut the aubergines in half lengthwise. Using a paring knife, cut diagonal slits into the flesh of each eggplant in both directions, making criss-cross cuts. Be careful not to cut through the skin.
As a precaution I always salt my aubergines to avoid any bitterness. Once you have cut your aubergines, then sprinkle salt (coarse salt is best because less is absorbed) onto one side. Leave it for 30 minutes, to allow the solanine (a chemical found in the flesh) to leach out, and dab off with a damp cloth or kitchen paper towel.
Place the eggplant halves on a baking sheet, and drizzle with avocado oil, toss with your hands so the oil coats each aubergine well. Place cut side up and into the oven on the middle rack and roast for 30 minutes, or until the aubergines are golden brown & not too soft.
To make the chermoula - Wash and dry the coriander, then finely chop. Zest and juice the lemon and crush the garlic.
In a small bowl mix together all the chermoula ingredients, in no particular order (it is so super easy! )
Remove from oven and place on a serving platter. Create layers with the aubergine, crumbled goats feta & coriander leaves. Drizzle each layer with avocado oil and season with salt & pepper ( I always prefer to use Maldon Salt, to finish a dish ). Serve the aubergines warm or at room temperature.
Cher·mou·la used in North African cooking is a sauce or marinade for fish or meat, typically containing olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and coriander. There are so many variations that can be thought of when incorporating chermoula into a dish. It's great added to tacos or served with lamb or even roasted cauliflower, the combinations are endless. It is a great addition to your recipe arsenal. I first came across this recipe in Yotam Ottolengis book Jerusalem and have adapted over time. I was gifted these beautiful baby aubergines from the North-West of South Africa, and couldn't pass on the opportunity to create a dish, an ideal warm winter salad. Last week I made some preserved lemons, and if they were ready, I would've definitely, finely chopped them and sprinkled that over the dish to finish. Another great plus about this dish, is if you somehow miraculously have leftovers - just pop that into a food processor and blend (you might have to add a little more avocado oil to loosen) and you are left with the most delicious spread for sandwiches or even a dip for crudités! Happy Cooking.
Photos by Timothy Bowles
Styling & Editing by Megan Kate Swan
Find the printable version of the recipe here.
Source: Adapted from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi