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imageThis delicious salad was inspired by watching a TV program on Morocco and the fact that it is prime aubergine season here in France at the moment and they are just gorgeous and ripe and purple. When choosing an aubergine or eggplant, (as they are called in the US), always look for an unblemished and shiny one and one that is heavy. If it is too light, then it means the insides are spongy and you will not get that delicious meaty goodness. Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds and is a staple in many cuisines, especially in the Mediterranean and Middle East. Arguably the most well known way to use tahini is when making hummus but it is delicious used in Baba Ganoush, an incredible roasted eggplant dip or in salad dressings and sauces. This dressing will make more than you need for the aubergine salad, but, no problem, you can store the rest in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 medium aubergines, unpeeled, cut into circles about 1 cm / 1/2″ thick
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch of coarse salt
1 tablespoon dried origanum
1 tablespoon dried basil
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Cilantro / Coriander, fresh and roughly chopped for garnish
Tahini dressing:
1 lemon, grated rind and juice
1/3 cup / 80 ml olive oil
1/3 cup / 80 ml tahini
1 tablespoon honey
2 garlic cloves, crushed

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 225 C / 450 F
Place the aubergine slices, the olive oil, the salt, origanum, basil and pepper in a large bowl and toss – ensure all the slices are well coated
Place all the slices on a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes
Turn them around and bake another 12 minutes, until golden brown and soft
While the aubergine is in the oven, make the dressing
Place all the ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake well or whisk in a bowl until smooth and creamy (if too thick, add a little water)
Store in the refrigerator
Once the aubergine is cooked, arrange the slices on a platter, drizzle the dressing over
Sprinkle the chopped cilantro over
Eat with warm pita or Moroccan bread
Enjoy!

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