From bulbous and egg-shaped, to small and thin, the eggplant (or if you’re a Brit like me, the aubergine) is a staple fruit (well, berry in fact) within Jewish, more specifically, Sephardic cooking. Originating in India or perhaps China (we won’t get into that discussion today), aubergine seeds are thought to have travelled along the Silk Road into the hands of Jews and Arabs as early as the eighteenth century. Today, this historical berry is enjoying a wonderful resurgence, particularly in my house. No meal seems complete without a dollop of smoky scooped roasted aubergine.

Here I have used wonderfully flavoursome dried Oregano (tons of the stuff) and of course, Tahini, no meal is complete with tahini. I have halved 2 aubergines, which is enough for 2 as a main or 4 as part of a meal, or 1, if you are bloody hungry!

This recipe was sponsored by Schwartz. Check it out on their website here!

  • LEVEL: Easy
  • Prep: 10 Minutes
  • Cook: 1 Hour
  • SERVES: 2 (as a main)
  • Dairy Free
  • Gluten Free
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan

Ingredients

for the Aubergine

2 large aubergines
2 tbsp. fine sea salt
4 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. Schwartz oregano (plus extra for serving)
15g flat leaf parsley, chopped, for serving

for the Tahini

3tbsp. tahini paste
|Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp. Olive oil
Water, to taste

TOP TIPS

Make slits in the eggplant before roasting, or try cross-hatching, this will enhance the flavour and allow the aubergine to cool more quickly. You can use this same technique with other seasonings or marinades – think miso glaze, balsamic glaze, or even just olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.

If using smaller aubergine, cross hatching may not be necessary, and roasting time will shorten significantly – check after 30 minutes, and cook until very fork tender. If using extra large globe aubergine, cooking time may increase.

Method

1.First, preheat the oven, to 200C/fan 180C/Gas 6.

2.Next, cut the aubergine in half lengthways. Score the flesh of each half with deep diagonal criss-cross cuts, or lengthways cuts, taking care not to pierce the skin. Brush the surface of each half with olive oil until it fills the cuts. Sprinkle with sea salt, black pepper and oregano and roast, in a roasting tin for 45 minutes – 1 Hour until soft and brown.

3.While the aubergine is cooking, make the tahini dressing. In a small bowl, whisk the tahini lemon juice and 2 tbsp. olive oil until smooth. Keep whisking until the mixture begins to lighten in colour and thicken. Taste it, and if you are happy, loosen slightly with a few tsp. of water and season.

4. When the aubergines are ready drizzle the tahini sauce generously over the aubergines and scatter with some fresh parsley and 1 tsbp. of Schwartz oregano. Serve immediately!