Yotam Ottolenghi’s best aubergine (eggplant) side

Serves: 6-8

Prepare yourself for the best eggplant dish you have ever had. A big call but a worthy one.

This is from Yotam’s book “Jerusalem”; it was the Jews who are said to have introduced the humble aubergine to the Arab culture, Europeans were quite suspicious of aubergine were and reluctant to use them thinking they were “mad apples” and helped induce insanity. With that being said – this dish is insane.


Roasted aubergine with fried onion and chopped lemon

2 large aubergines, halved lengthways with the stem on
150ml olive oil
4 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1 1/2 green chillies
1 1/2tsp ground cumin
1tsp sumac
50g feta, broken into chunks
1 lemon
1 garlic clove, crushed
Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 220C. Score the cut side of the aubergines with a criss-cross pattern, brush with olive oil, salt and pepper and place on a baking tray, cut-side up and roast for 45mins, until the flesh is golden brown and completely cooked.
  2. Add remaining oil to a heavy pan and cook the onions with 1/2tsp of salt, stirring often so that parts of the onion get really dark and crisp. About 15mins in total.
  3. De-seed the green chillies, keeping 1/3 of them seperate. Add 2/3 of the chillies, cumin, sumac to the onions and stir for a few mins. Add the feta and cook for a few mins before removing from the heat.
  4. Cut the flesh out of the lemon, ensuring you remove any seeds and chop the lemon flesh roughly. Add any juices, lemon flesh, the remaining green chilli and garlic to a small bowl.
  5. Assemble the dish by transferring the roasted aubergines to a serving dish, spoon over the lemon mixture and top with the warm onion and feta mixture.
  6. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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