Roasted aubergine and yoghurt sauce

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I am a big Ottoleghi fan and though not much of a vegetarian food fan (only because i really am rubbish at cooking anything vegetable based, and making them taste good), whenever i go to his restaurant I always opt for the salad selection as they are seriously good. It was during one of those visits that i came across this aubergine and yoghurt combination which i absolutely loved and have been making at home ever since. A grilled chicken slice and this aubergine and yoghurt side is like the perfect summer lunch combo.

The yoghurt i used for this recipe is the Natural Yoghurt from Lactofree which is equally creamy and as flavourful as any other yoghurt. You wouldnt realise its Lactose-free and I’ve used it quite a few ways- as a dip, salad dressing, marinade,and my favourite, baking my French yoghurt cake. Results have been great so far and ive already suggested it to a friend whose daughter is lactose intolerant. Its great that brands like Lactofree are introducing more and more products for those with food intolerances and it makes life so much more nicer, they get to eat yoghurt! 

Recipe is super duper easy, and the use of Za’atar makes it just even more delectable. Just sprinkling some of this glorious Middle Eastern spice on to yoghurt and serving as a side to anything can do the trick. 

Recipe adapted from here, originally from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi (serves 4 as a side)
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Aubergine/ Egg plant- 2 large

Good quality olive oil- 1/4 cup

Thyme leaves- 1 tsp (I used dried ones)

Za’atar spice- 1 tsp

Salt and pepper- to season

Yoghurt- 1/2 cup

Olive oil- 1 tbsp plus enough to drizzle

Garlic- 1 small clove, finely grated

Za’atar- 1/4 tsp

Salt- to taste

Pomegranate seeds- 4 tbsp

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Preheat oven to 200C and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Slice the aubergines in half, lengthwise, and using a sharp knife make incisions on the cut side, without going through the skin. 

Place on the baking tray and generously brush in the olive oil.

Sprinkle the thyme leaves, za’atar spice, salt and pepper and chuck into the oven for about 30 to 40 minutes or till the flesh is soft, roasted and completely cooked.

While the aubergines are in the oven, get the yoghurt sauce ready.

Just whisk together the yoghurt, olive oil, za’atar and salt in a bowl and keep refrigerated till ready to use.

Take the aubergines out of the oven, transfer to a serving plate and scoop generous amounts of yoghurt on top of them. 

Finish off with the pomegranate seeds and serve as a side to cous cous or grilled meat or fish.

With thanks to Lactofree for the yoghurt.

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