This was one of those spur of the moments meal. I'd been down to Ridley Road and picked up a bag of baby aubergines for £1. (Yes: one pound for about fifteen or so hand length aubergines). Also four packets of beautiful baby plum tomatoes for a pound and a load of dirt cheap fennel. Crazy.
So I got back and pottered about with the back of my brain wondering what to cook for lunch: Szechuan aubergines, curry, some sort of soup... How about just sticking the aubergines and tomatoes on to roast and then chucking together a salad? Ok, let's give it a go.
- baby aubergine
- cherry tomatoes
- fennel or some other raw veg
- feta or salad cheese
- yoghurt, garlic, pomegranite molasses, lemon juice, olive oil and sherry vinegar
Roast the aubergines and tomatos with olive oil for thirty minutes or so
Meantime: chop the fennel or other raw salad veg. I advise going for something with a little crunch here to contrast with the soft and silken vegetables. Roughly chop or mash your cheese (I used a cheap, mild Turkish salad cheese which was 1/4 the price of feta).
When the veg is half done in the oven put in your flat-bread (I used wholemeal pittas to nice effect). The aim is crisp them up and put them in the salad fattoush style. When they are getting semi-crisp take them out and chop roughly. Add to the veg and cheese. Dress with a bit of olive oil and stir. The bread will start to absorb the essence of the vegetables, especially via the liquid insides of the tomatoes.
Mix the yoghurt dressing - 80% yoghurt, 7% water, 7% olive oil, 4% pomegranate molasses and 2% sherry vinegar. Add one clove of garlic chopped very fine and some salt and coarse black pepper.
Layer up the salad base with the bread, put on top the roast veg and then dress liberally.
some preserved lemons would also work here with the cheese and bread
Very nice, though I say so myself, and substantial enough for a complete lunch. The roast vegetables are still warm, rich and comforting, the fennel faintly regal and stand-offish, the bread the doughty workhorse of the piece. A nice balance.