Ottolenghi at Home

August 29, 2012

On the cover of the U.S. edition of Plenty, the Yotam Ottolenghi cookbook I received for Christmas last year, there is a gorgeous picture of his Eggplant with Buttermilk Sauce. I’ve wanted to make this recipe every since I unwrapped the book.

At this time of year my CSA determines a lot of what I’m going to cook for the week. In the past couple of weeks I received a huge white Italian-style globe eggplant and four good-sized Japanese eggplants. Seemed like this was as good a time as any to try the recipe.

Prepping the eggplant for roasting

In order to have things cook at about the same rate, I cut the large eggplant into eights and cut the long eggplant in half lengthwise. It’s a simple preparation of olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh thyme and into the oven it goes.

The sauce is a simple affair of Greek yogurt, buttermilk, olive oil, garlic, and salt. The eggplant is served with the sauce, an extra drizzle of fresh olive oil, thyme sprigs, za’atar, and pomegranate seeds. The only thing I didn’t have was the za’atar but I found it still delicious. The tartness of the pomegranate seeds perfectly offset the richness of the eggplant and the buttermilk sauce.

Japanese eggplant à la Ottolenghi

Although I tried to make the globe eggplant about the same size as the long eggplant, it needed more time to finish off in the oven. I took the flesh of the globe eggplant and pureed it with the extra buttermilk sauce to make a dip. Took some pita bread and toasted it in the oven, topped the dip with more pomegranate seeds and olive oil and we were good to go.

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