Its undeniable at this point. Autumn is here. Its not just a cold spell. The summer sun is not coming back…until next year atleast. This makes me rather unhappy. It’s not that I don’t like autumn, its more that I love summer. You’d think that after almost 30 years of the seasons turning, I’d be used to it. But no, this is the only turn of seasons that drops me into a bitter spell. Then I realize (for the 28th time) that autumn is not so bad! However, to see out the summer, here’s one last recipe. Don’t worry, it tastes good in autumn too!
This Eggplant Pida is inspired by a mixture of Ottolenghi’s roasted eggplant recipe (which I love!) and one of my favorite Turkish Pidas. The Turkish Pida is very similar to a pizza, but with very different flavours. The traditional version usually has only ground meat and spices, but there are so many different varieties, many of which have cheese too. Usually the raw dough and the toppings are cooked together in a coal oven giving the whole thing a yummy flavour. Since I don’t have a coal oven or the ability to make these lovely flatbreads, I buy a freshly made Pida at one of my local Turkish shops. If you don’t have a lovely Turkish shop around your corner, I think that Naan or even Focaccia would work well. My version of the Pida forgoes the meat & cheese and highlights the eggplants instead. Slathered with some mint yogurt and a little bit of fresh and bright pomegranate – you’ve got yourself a tasty treat! Give it a go before the cold of winter sets in and all you want is warming currys!
Eggplant Pide with Mint Yogurt and Pomegranate
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 tsp dried thyme leaves or 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 small eggplants
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1 handful mint leaves
- small clove garlic minced
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1 large Turkish Pide (Tandoori Naan or even Foccacia would also work well)
Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C. In a large bowl combine 2 tbsp olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper. Cut the eggplant into 1/2 inch slices and add to the olive oil mix. Using your hands or a large spoon, toss the slices until well covered in the olive oil mix. Place onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast for 15-20 minutes until the flesh is soft and the eggplants are lovely and brown.
While the eggplants are in the oven, in a small bowl, combine the yogurt, mint, garlic and salt to taste until combined. Once that is done, get started with the pomegranate. I like Ottolenghi’s technique which ensures less of a blood red mess all over the counter! First slice the pomegranate through the middle horizontally. Then, hold the cut side down on your palm and bang away at the top with a large spoon. Make sure you place a bowl underneath to catch all the jeweled fruit.
Once the eggplant is done, arrange over the turkish bread (or whichever one you choose). Spoon plenty of the mint yogurt over everything and sprinkle on the pomegranate seeds. Finish with some mint leaves.