these smokey aubergines are from my new maria elia book and, whilst they are not the most elegant-looking dish, i’ll definitely be making them again.
the smoked paprika added a real kick– i used the picante (spicy) version of spanish smoked paprika, rather than the dolce (sweet) one and its worth thinking about what effect you want rather than to just blindly use whatever you pick out of the cupboard. i think the dolce version would work better in this recipe or, if you use the picante you should reduce the quantities.
something that you shouldn’t skimp on is the wonderful tahini yoghurt dressing that maria elia suggests is served with the dish. this would be really delicious with falafel or in the place of the yoghurt in chicken fattee, which is how i used my leftovers.
maria elia’s smoked paprika aubergines with a mint and parsley salad (serves 4)
for the aubergines:
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon smoked parika
60ml olive oil
2 large aubergines, or 12 baby ones, cut in half
for the salad:
15g flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
14g mint leaves, finely chopped
1 red onion, finely diced
400g cherry vine tomatoes
a handful of rocket leaves
salt and pepper
to make the marinated aubergines pound the garlic with the sea salt in a pestle and mortar then add the olive oil and paprika.
cut the aubergines in half and then into thick wedges. carefully score each wedge in a criss-cross pattern with the point of a knife and rub all over with the marinade. leave at room temperature for 20 minutes or overnight in the fridge (remove the aubergines 10 minutes before cooking, if you refrigerate them, to bring them back up to room temperature).
preheat a griddle pan (or barbeque) and cook the aubergines until they are tender. if you want to avoid your kitchen smoking up you can char them on the griddle and then finish them in a medium-hot oven.
toss all the salad ingredients together, season and serve with the aubergines along with a large spoonful of tahini yoghurt dressing (see below).
tahini yoghurt dressing – grind 2 cloves of garlic and 1 teaspoon of salt to a paste and mix with 300ml greek yoghurt, 120g tahini, the juice of 2 lemons and 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin (ideally toast whole cumin seeds in a dry pan and grind to a powder in a pestle and mortar).