Ottolenghi Aubergines


Prep time: 
10 minutes
Cooking time: 
40 minutes


Adapted from his cookbook, Plenty, here's an easy way to cook your augergines Ottoleghi style.


  • 2 large aubergines
  • 80ml olive oil
  • 1½ tsp lemon thyme leaves, plus a few whole sprigs to garnish
  • Seeds from 1 pomegranate or 200-300g of seeds alone
  • 1 tsp za'atar
  • Maldon sea salt and black pepper

For the sauce:

  • 140ml milk
  • 100g Greek yoghurt
  • 1½ tbs polive oil, plus a drizzle to finish
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • pinch of salt


Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6.

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 baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Brush them with the olive oil – keep on brushing until all of the oil has been absorbed by the flesh. Sprinkle with the lemon thyme leaves and some salt and pepper. Flip them cut side down. Roast for 35 minutes, at which point the flesh should be soft, flavoursome. Flip cut side up and return to the oven for 5-10 min until they are nicely browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool down completely.

While the aubergines are in the oven, prepare the pomegranate and sauce. If using a fresh pomegranate, be sure to remove any bits of white skin or membrane when you separate the seeds. For the sauce, whisk together all of the ingredients. Taste for seasoning, then keep cold until needed.

To serve, spoon plenty of sauce over the aubergine halves without covering the stalks. Sprinkle za’atar and plenty of pomegranate seeds on top and garnish with lemon thyme. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.


Photo Credit: Jonny Hughes @jonny2love
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