Serves: 4 - Time:
This is my take on a dish inspired by Ottolenghi. Lamb and aubergines are a pretty perfect fit and the sheep’s yogurt dotted with a little harissa gives the dish another layer of flavour. I salt the aubergines here-not something I do regularly but I think it brings out their flavour. If you are really short of time you could skip this part. Aubergines grown today have very little bitterness so salting is not vital. Serve with flatbreads or a fattoush salad.
- 3 small aubergines, about 650g) sliced into 4mm thick rounds
- Maldon salt
- About 90ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 echalion shallots, peeled and finely chopped
- 500g lamb mince
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
- ½ tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
- 1 teaspoon harissa paste
- 50g pine nuts, lightly toasted
- Layer up the aubergines in a colander, lightly sprinkling each layer with a little Maldon salt. Leave for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a saucepan and stir in the shallots. Cook over a low heat for 5 minutes. Turn the heat up and add the lamb. Brown the lamb for about 4-5 minutes, stirring to break up the meat and brown it evenly. Add the spices and vinegar and cook for 3-4 minutes. Taste and season with a little salt and ground black pepper. Take off the heat and stir in the parsley and half the mint. You can make this in advance.
- Heat the oven to 200˚C, fan oven 180˚c, mark 6. Brush off any salt from the aubergines and dry the slices on kitchen paper. Brush both sides of the aubergine slices with the olive oil and place in a roasting tin or on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden then turn the slices over and continue to roast for a further 5-10 minutes. Place the slices in an ovenproof serving dish. Turn the oven down to 180˚c, fan oven 160˚c, mark 4.
- Spoon the lamb mince over the aubergines and warm through in the oven for 15 minutes or until the lamb is piping hot.
- Just before serving remove the dish from the oven and spoon over the yogurt. Dot with the harissa paste and sprinkle over the pine nuts and remaining ½ tablespoon mint.