Aubergine Bake with Pomegranate, Za'atar and Buttermilk Dressing
2 large and long aubergines
80ml extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp lemon thyme leaves, plus a few whole sprigs to garnish
4/5 tbsp pomegranate seeds
1 tsp za'atar
Malden sea salt and black pepper.
50ml of buttermilk
50ml of plain yoghurt
1 1/2 tbs extra virgin olive oil, plus a drizzle to finish
1 small garlic clove, crushed pinch of salt
Cut the aubergines in half lengthways, cutting straight through the green stalk
Use a small sharp knife to make three or four parallel incisions in the cut side of each aubergine half, without cutting through to the skin.
Repeat at a 45-degree angle to get a diamond-shape pattern.
Place the aubergine halves, cut side up, on a full size hard anodized baking tray lined with a sheet of Bake-O-Glide.
Brush with the olive oil until it has been absorbed by the flesh.
Sprinkle with the lemon thyme leaves and salt and pepper. Roast for 35–40 minutes in the roasting oven. The flesh should be soft, flavoursome and nicely browned.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool down completely.
Whilst the aubergines are in the oven, prepare the dressing.
Whisk together all of the ingredients. Taste for seasoning, then keep cold until needed.
For the vegan version, instead of buttermilk use a plant-based milk. Add some lemon and allow to curdle for 20 minutes.
Mix all the ingredients as above and keep chilled.
To serve, spoon plenty of yoghurt sauce over the aubergine halves without covering the stalks.
Sprinkle za’atar and pomegranate seeds on top and garnish with lemon thyme.
Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.
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