I try cooking vegetarian dishes at least two to three times a week. It depends on my mood and the produce that is in season. It was always hard to find great vegetarian recipes to my taste until I found Ottolenghi and his book Plenty. For those of you who never heard of him, he is an Israeli-born chef who owns several restaurants and shops in London along with his partner Sami Tamimi who is of Palestinian origin.
That really changed everything for me! I must have cooked most of the recipes in his book and always with great results. What is also interesting is that he is not a vegetarian. His cooking is a fusion of Middle Eastern, with a strong mediterranean influence mixed with some asian as well. Having lived in the Middle East, his cuisine really brought back a lot of memories. His recipes are so fresh and creative with bold, intensive flavours.
When Jerusalem, his latest book, came out I had to buy it at once. This one is not exclusively vegetarian, it has also fish and meat recipes. I still haven’t tried many of the recipes but this Chermoula eggplant with bulgur & yogurt is great. As the recipe was published by the Guardian newspaper I will give you the link this time.
I always adapt recipes since I don´t always have all the ingredients or change some according to my preferences.
In this case I used black olives instead of green because I really prefer them. Then used 1 1/2 yellow pearl onions instead of the 3 green onions since I really had none at home.
As for the greek yogurt it is often difficult to get it here plus my husband finds it a bit heavy. Therefore, on this particular recipe I used normal plain yogurt and it still tasted great.
Here is the link for the recipe:
My oven is a bit tricky and usually it is always lower than it should be. Plus I always have to juggle a bit due to the high altitude. In this case, I had to leave the eggplants almost 50 minutes to make sure they were well really soft. It is very important that they are well cooked and soft enough.
This has become one of our favourite eggplant recipes, I hope you´ll enjoy it as much as me!