Weekend cooking: Ottolenghi – Plenty



Some time ago in another weekend cooking post I talked about Ottolenghi already. Now, Ottolenghi has come out with a vegetarian cookbook called “Plenty”.

We are always on the lookout for veggie recipes, so this book comes quite in handy. It has chapters sorted by vegetable, like for example Funny Onions, Capsicums, Brassicas, The Mighty Aubergine, Leaves Cooked and Raw, Green Things, Cereals and closing with the last one Fruit with Cheese. Even though you might need to go hunting for a few exotic ingredients, the actual preparation is rather easy and doesn’t take too long.

Today I want to share a recipe that I did the other day. It is very easy to make and tastes lovely.


Aubergine with Buttermilk Sauce

Ingredients (starter for 4):

  • 2 large and long aubergines
  • 80ml olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon thyme leaves, plus a few sprigs to garnish
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 tsp za’atar
  • Sea salt and black pepper

For the sauce:

  • 140ml buttermilk
  • 100g Greek yoghurt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, plus a drizzle to finish
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • pinch of salt


1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Cut the aubergines in half lengthways, cutting straight through the green stalk (not to be eaten). Make three or four parallel incisions in the cut side of each half, without cutting through to the skin. Repeat at a 45 degree angle to get a diamond-shape pattern.





2. Place the halves, cut-side up, on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Brush them with the olive oil – keep on brushing until all of the oil has been absorbed by the flesh. Sprinkle with the lemon thyme leaves and some salt and pepper. Roast for 35 – 40 min., at which point the flesh should be soft, flavoursome and nicely browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool down completely.



3. While the aubergines are in the oven, prepare the pomegranate and sauce. Whisk all the ingredients (except for pomegranate) together. Taste for seasoning, then keep cold until needed.













4. To serve, spoon plenty of buttermilk sauce over the aubergine halves without covering the stalks. Sprinkle za’atar and plenty of pomegranate seeds on top and garnish with lemon thyme sprigs. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.









Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads

8 Comments Write a comment

  1. I haven’t touched an aubergine for years! I’m not sure about this recipe though (well, my family would not eat it, I’m sure – awful people). I am always on the lookout for a good vegetarian cook book!
    Leeswammes (Judith)’s last post ..Happy New Year!


  2. I absolutely adore this book – it’s my favourite veggie cook book by a long way. The sweet potato cakes are amazing. Apparently the restaurant is lovely too – can’t wait to go. A big new years YUM.


    • I immediately had a look for the potato cake recipe. Looks super yummy, too. I need to go and get some sweet potatoes next week and try it out. It sounds like something even our kids will eat – and they ARE fussy.


  3. Oh my, this dish sounds and looks wonderful! I love eggplant, pomegranate and buttermilk, but have never thought of combining them! I may just have to put this cookbook on my wishlist now 🙂 Thanks for posting this recipe!


    • If you like all those ingredients, this is the perfect recipe for you. Check out the book, by all means.


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