Roasted Aubergines with Fennel and Labneh
Labneh is a wonderful Middle Eastern strained yoghurt that is really easy to make and is a healthier alternative to soured cream or cream cheese. It usually takes around 12 hours to make, so it’s best to prepare it the night before and leave it to drain in the fridge overnight. You will also need a piece of muslin.
- 1 tsp salt
- 450g 0%-fat Greek-style yoghurt
- 1 tbsp nigella seeds
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped (deseed if you just want the flavour and not the heat)
- bunch of freshly chopped mint leaves
- 2 large aubergines
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
To make the labneh, mix the salt into the yoghurt – you can do this in the yoghurt tub to save on washing up. Take a piece of clean muslin and spoon the yoghurt into the centre of it. Gather the muslin and tie it up, then hang it over a bowl and place in the fridge. You then need to leave this for 12 hours to allow the whey (liquid) to separate from the yoghurt.
After 12 hours, turn out the labneh into a clean bowl (discard the whey) and mix through the nigella seeds, chilli and mint. Set aside in the fridge while you roast the aubergines.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6.
Slice the aubergines in half lengthways and rub all over with the oil, then sprinkle with the fennel seeds. Place on a baking tray, cut side up. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes until the aubergine flesh begins to collapse and the skin starts to blacken and burst.
Serve the warm roasted aubergines with the labneh alongside. Garnish with a little extra chilli, mint and nigella seeds, if you like.