I did eat rather a lot in Venice, but I did a lot of walking too; I must have walked miles. And I am a gourmet traveller. Even so, a little restraint in the eating department may be in order for a few days. But that, of course, doesn’t mean I have to live on lettuce (as if I would!). There was a pomegranate in my fridge, left over from my party food last weekend, and some feta and all that was needed to put supper together was a nice plump and shiny aubergine.
I have to confess the idea isn’t strictly mine, I saw an Ottolenghi recipe with this combination in the Observer (I think) a little while ago and thought it sounded great. So I just decided to put it together in my own way. I did it fairly last minute and it was very quick and easy. I laid the aubergine on its side and carefully sliced along opposite sides to pretty much just remove a slice of the skin, then I cut the aubergine into 4 slices.
While the griddle got hot, I brushed the aubergine slices with a generous amount of olive oil, then laid them on the hot griddle. I browned them nicely on both sides.
While they were cooking, I made the dressing. I cut the pomegranate in half (and only used half), held it over a strainer over a small bowl, and bashed it a bit with a rolling pin. When seeds started falling out, I gently pulled it apart to pull away the seeds, making sure none of the bitter pith got in with them.
I used the little bit of pomegranate juice in with the dressing mix. I added 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses, 1/2 crushed garlic clove and salt and pepper. I’ve taken to using pomegranate molasses in dressings: it has a wonderful intense sweet-sour taste that goes brilliantly with something like aubergine.
When the aubergines were cooked I laid them on a plate. Then I crumbled over some feta cheese. I poured over the dressing and sprinkled over the pomegranate seeds (about half of what I had was enough), then I roughly chopped some flat-leaf parsley and sprinkled that over too. I served it simply with one of Ruben’s Bakehouse’s fabulous sourdough breads, cutting just one nice thick slice to help me mop up the juices.
It was a really wonderful and simple meal with gorgeous flavours. I liked that the aubergine was still slightly warm, softening the feta and soaking up the delicious dressing. I thought it would make a nice starter too, though obviously serving less for a starter size. With summer coming (hopefully!), I can see I’ll be doing this again for a nice summer supper.