From Beirut to London in 100 Dishes

Salatat al Batinjan — Aubergine Salad

IMG_9902Salads in Lebanon are as vibrant, varied and colourful as the markets I can remember going to with my mother to find our ingredients.  We would go every day, but the best was Saturday.  That is when my father would get up at dawn to make sure he was there in time to get the absolutely freshest and most delicious vegetables and herbs.  He’d gather up enough to last us the rest of the week.  He might even pick up another little songbird to add to his collection on our balcony.IMG_9718

It was a mile back to our home, which my father would negotiate with bags bursting with what we knew would be the very freshest and best the market had to offer.  When he got back and made it up the six floors to our apartment, we would know from what he’d brought whether we would be having fish or chicken for our special weekend lunch. The kitchen was my mother’s, but it was my father who was the connoisseur of the ingredients.

Just remember taste and freshness is everything in Lebanese food and salads in particular, so mix in any juice or sauce only at the very last moment.

 

IMG_9834Ingredients

2 medium size aubergines
2 large table spoons of olive oil for grilling
1 Lemon, juiced
2 tea spoons of pomegranate molasses
1 tea spoon dried mint
1/4 tea spoon of salt
1/4 tea spoon of black pepper
1 large spoon of olive oil for the sauce
200g feta cheese
1/2 pomegranate, seeded
1 handful of rocket leaves

Wash the aubergines then slice each one to around 5mm thick with the skin on

Put the slices in a large baking tray then brush one side of each slice with olive oil

Put the tray under the grill and cook until golden, then turn the slices to the other side and brush with olive oil and grill again until golden

Meanwhile in a small bowl mix lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, dried mint, salt and pepper and 1 large spoon of olive oil

Arrange the aubergine on a platter and drizzle the sauce on top

Crumble the 200g of feta cheese on top of the aubergine and garnish with pomegranate seeds and rocket leaves

Serve chilledAubergine Dip.JPG

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