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Chermoula Aubergine with Bulgar & Yoghurt

I was given Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s book “Jerusalem” for my birthday and I’m very excited about it. It is full of inspiration for summer recipes. This is the first dish I made from it, as an indulgent accompaniment to Lamb chops. It is a meal in its own right, or as part of a platter for a feast. It is best enjoyed warm, rather than hot, to let all the different flavours stand out for themselves. This serves 4.

2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp each ground cumin & coriander
2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp sweet paprika
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
140ml olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
2 medium aubergines
150g fine bulgar wheat
50g sultanas
A small bunch of coriander, chopped (keep some back for sprinkling)
A small bunch of fresh mint, chopped
50g green pitted olives, halved
30g toasted flakes almonds
3 spring onions, chopped
120g greek yoghurt

Preheat the oven to 200c.

To make the Chermoula, mix together the garlic, ground cumin & coriander, chilli, paprika, lemon zest, two-thirds of the olive oil and ½ tsp salt in a small bowl.

Cut the aubergines in half lengthways and score the flesh of each half with deep diagonal criss cross scores (but don’t cut through the skin). Spoon the Chermoula over each half, spreading it evenly and place on a baking sheet, cut side up. Put in the oven and roast for 40 minutes or until the aubergines are completely soft.

Meanwhile place the bulgar in a large bowl and cover with 140ml boiling water.

Soak the sultanas in 50ml of boiling water, allow to soak for 10 minutes, then drain. Add them to the bulgar along with the remaining oil, herbs, olives, almonds, spring onions, 1 ½ tablespoons of lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine, then check for seasoning, adding more salt if necessary.

Serve the aubergines just warm. Place on half per portion on a serving plate, spoon the bulgar on top, allowing some to fall over the sides of the aubergine. Spoon over some yoghurt, sprinkle with chopped coriander and finish with a drizzle of olive oil.

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