I don’t like hypes. A hype is usually a reason for me to stay away from something. I appreciate something because of its qualities, not simply because others appreciate it. That’s why it took me years to start reading Harry Potter. I’m not foolhardy, I actually liked it and read all of the books (in an Italian translation because I was only reading in Italian to practice).
The latest hype in cookery books seems to be Yotam Ottolenghi. I had never heard of him, until Richard blogged about the very same recipe I’m blogging about today. Then I got Ottolenghi’s vegetarian cookery book “Plenty” as a birthday present from Kees. And a glossy that I read featured him and we seem to have more in common than I had thought. So there was no escape, I had to prepare some Ottolenghi, despite the hype.
I browsed through the book, and like Richard decided that the eggplant recipe featured on the cover seemed the most attractive. I prepared it and it was lovely. More suitable for summer perhaps, but absolutely lovely. I’ll probably try more of the recipes from the book, even though (or because?) they are different in some way from what I usually prepare. This is quite easy to make and very elegant. I prepared it for 6, but I’m sharing the recipe for 4 as per the original.
Za’atar is a Mediterranean spice mix of which the main ingredients are thyme and sumac.
2 large and long eggplants
80 ml (1/3 cup) extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp lemon thyme leaves, plus a few whole sprigs for garnish
salt and freshly ground black pepper
seeds from 1 pomegranate (click here to read how to get them out)
1 tsp za’atar
For the sauce
135 ml (9 Tbsp) buttermilk
120 ml (1/2 cup) Greek yogurt
1 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus a drizzle to finish
1 small garlic clove, crushed
pinch of salt
Saltimbocca alla Romana is one of my favorite secondi di carne, which takes less than 5 minutes to prepare. They are so delicious they ‘jump into your mouth’!