Roasted Eggplant with Saffron Yogurt

The other night we made eggplant with a saffron yogurt, pine nuts, and pomegranates. Delicious!

3 medium eggplants, cut into slices 2cm thick, or into wedges
olive oil for brushing
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
a handful of pomegranate seeds
20 basil leaves
coarse sea salt and black pepper

Saffron Yoghurt
a small pinch of saffron strands
3 tablespoons hot water
180g Greek yogurt (about 3/4 cup)
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil

1. For the sauce, infuse the saffron in the hot water in a small bowl for 5 minutes. Pour the infusion into a bowl containing the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and some salt. Whisk well to get a smooth, golden sauce. Taste and adjust the salt, if necessary, then chill. (you can make this the day before or the morning of if you need to do it in advance)

2. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius (which is about 430 F). Place the eggplant slices on a roasting tray, brush with plenty of olive oil on both sides and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-30 minutes, until the slices take on a beautiful light brown color. Let them cool down. (you can make this in advance as well but take them out of the fridge a couple of hours before eating so that they come to room temp. i roasted the eggplant and made the sauce the morning of)

3. To serve, arrange the eggplant slices on a large plate, slightly overlapping. Drizzle the saffron yoghurt over them, sprinkle with the pine nuts and pomegranate seeds and lay the basil on top.

Note: this probably wouldn’t be enough to be your entire dinner. I’d suggest pairing it with some type of protein or starch. We had our with some chorizo.  The yogurt sauce worked well with the spicy chorizo and acted as a cooling agent. We started dipping the chorizo straight into the yogurt sauce by the end of the meal.

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