Loved and loathed in equal measure, aubergine can be quite the divisive ingredient. While fans revere its versatility and capacity to absorb bold flavours, for those on the other side of the debate, its texture is often cited as the offending characteristic. Here at The Happy Foodie, we are firmly in the pro aubergine camp and believe that with the right recipe and a little know-how, its crowd-pleasing potential can be realised. Enter Yotam Ottolenghi. In the countless aubergine-centric recipes across his cookbooks, Ottolenghi proves there are myriad ways to reveal the wonder of this misunderstood ingredient and convert even its most passionate opponents. Here are nine of our favourites.
Soft as butter in the middle and crisp on the outside, this easy roasted aubergine dish is elevated with a fragrant, umami bomb of an anchovy and oregano dressing. Perfect as a side to chicken or fish, or as part of a meat-free spread.
This hearty, substantial stew is a batch cooking hero that can be made up to three days in advance and then warmed through. Combining lentils, tender aubergine and aromatic thyme, it makes for a comforting supper with lots of leftovers for your lunchbox.
Used in Moroccan and Tunisian cooking, chermoula is a spice paste packed with preserved lemon, herbs and chilli. Its beautifully perfumed flavour pairs perfectly with the more subtle aubergine, which is roasted until tender and finished with a drizzle of yoghurt.
From the book
Expand your dip repertoire with this creamy, nutty aubergine delight from Plenty. Serve as part of a mezze spread, as a side to meat or fish, or add chunks of tomato and cucumber to turn it into a satisfying Middle Eastern salad.
This inventive soba noodle dish combines shallow-fried aubergine with sweet mango and a tart dressing. Perfect if you’re looking for a light, refreshing noodle dish for the warmer months.
Studded with pomegranate seeds and finished with Ottolenghi staple ingredient, za’atar, we love to serve this aubergine dish as part of a summery spread or meat-free barbecue.
One of the most popular recipes in Ottolenghi FLAVOUR , this dish features strips of aubergine wrapped around chunks of paneer (or tofu to make this recipe vegan) and nestled in a creamy coconut dal.
From the book
A guide to unlocking the complex flavour in simple vegetables
With a focus on creative cooking processes and clever ingredient pairing
Including recipes for everything from midweek meals to weekend feasts
Black garlic is milder in flavour than its better-known counterpart and along with lemon, dill and tarragon adds depth to this roasted aubergine side dish.
From the book
This bright and colourful dish is packed full of fresh summery flavours including smoky aubergine and crunchy yellow peppers. Paired with parsley, red onion and tomatoes, this recipe is a great addition to a vegetarian barbecue.