Serves 2 as a starter or side
1 large aubergine (eggplant)
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 red chilli, finely chopped
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh herbs: mint, parsley and basil.
2 tsp za’atar
Preheat the oven to 200 c
Slice the aubergine in half length ways and sprinkle salt on the cut half. Let the aubergine sit for a while to draw the liquid out (in theory you should let it sit for at least half an hour but I’m never this patient).
While the aubergine is absorbing the salt start making the dressing. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, chilli with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Rinse the aubergines and pat dry with a tea-towel then lay them on a baking tray lined with grease-proof paper or foil. Make slits in the cut side without breaking through the skin, about 3 in each direction to make a cross-hatch pattern. Brush with the lemon dressing generously until the open side has absorbed the oil and lemon.
Roast them in the oven for about 35 minutes.
While they are roasting add the fresh herbs to leftover dressing. Add another drizzle of olive oil if it needs loosening up.
When the aubergines are roasted, take them out and brush them with the herby dressing while they are still warm. Let all the garlic and herbs sink into the cuts, then sprinkle with a pinch of za’atar.