When I began to write this post, I realised I have begun another eggplant featured post. I’m seeing a pattern here, that I’m just loving the aubergine right now. On checking, eggplants are in season (in Australia) – being from summer through to early Autumn.
As per my previous post, I’ve been overindulging far too much lately, and eating more animal-protein based dinner than I care to admit. This has negative ramifications on my body. Contrary to popular diet fads, I don’t thrive off protein-laden meals. I admit, I have met some people who do, and this just proves that we’re all different, and have different dietary needs. There are only very few dietary rules that apply to the masses, and these are more like guides rather than absolutes. You can find these in the About section of this blog.
This pared back dish has everything you want from a plant-based, seasonal meal; flavour, nutrients, detoxing, seasonal, satisfying, easy to cook. I have sourced it from Yottam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem cookbook, which I’ve referenced before. The original recipe calls for green chillies, however I’m Yin deficient (causing more perceived heat in the body) therefore for me, it’s best to avoid too many heating foods. I’ve also added preserved lemon for a little more flavour profile.
Roasted Aubergine with Fried Onion & Chopped Lemon
2 Large eggplants, halved lengthways
150ml olive oil
4 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1.5 tsp cumin powder (grind seeds if you don’t have the powder form)
1 tsp sumac
50g feta, broken into large chunks (I used Meredith marinated goats feta) (omit if vegan)
1 medium lemon
1/4 preserved lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 220C / 200 fan forced
- Score the cut side of each eggplant with a cross-cross pattern. Brush the cut side with olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
- Place on baking tray – cut side up – and roast for about 45 minutes until flesh is golden brown and completely cooked (you may need to cover with foil for the last 10 minutes so it doesn’t get too browned
- Meanwhile, add remaining olive oil to a fry pan and place on high heat. Add the onions and 1/2 tsp salt and cook for 8 minutes, stirring often so that parts of the onion get really dark and crisp.
- Add the ground cumin and sumac and cook for a further 2 minutes before adding the feta.
- Cook for a final 1 minute, not stirring much, then remove from the heat.
- Using a small serrated knife, remove the skin and pith of the lemon. Roughly chop the flesh, discarding the seeds and place in a bowl with any juiced with the garlic. Do the same for the preserved lemon.
- To assemble: as soon as the eggplant are ready, transfer eggplant to a serving dish, spoon lemon sauce over flesh. Warm the onions a little and spoon over the top. Serve warm or at room temperature on it’s own for a lighter meal or with pilaf for something more substantial.