Spiced Eggplant & Buffalo Mozzarella Salad
I'm really excited to share this recipe with you, it was inspired from a recent work trip to Dubai, where I styled for the new Toko Dubai restaurant. One evening whilst there we went to Rang Mahal by Atul Kochhar, a modern Indian restaurant. It was hands down THE BEST Indian food I have ever, ever eaten. The flavours were intense, hot and fresh with a modern twist. I left feeling full, nourished and totally satisfied. I really recommend you try and get there if you're heading to Dubai!
The most memorable dish was an entre of smoked and roasted spiced eggplant, with pine nuts and mozzarella. I know it sounds a bit Indian-gone-Italian, but the texture and flavours were a match made in heaven. When I returned to Sydney I thought I'd give it a go- obviously it's not spot on but is inspired by the dish I ate, and is pretty damn delicious.
All you need for this recipe is a hot oven and a baking tray. It's very straight forward and simple which is always a big tick in my book! It's best to let the eggplant cool a little before plating up and is also delicious served cold too.
2 medium sized eggplants
1 large buffalo mozzarella, roughly torn
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp fennel seeds
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp garam masala
good pinch sea salt
40g pine nuts, lightly toasted
1 tbs full fat Greek yoghurt
Juice 1/2 lemon
Handful freshly chopped parsley & mint
HOW IT'S DONE
Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees celsius. Chop the eggplant into quarters lengthways, then into smaller inch sized pieces. Place in a mixing bowl. Add all of the spices and salt, then 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Give them a good toss to coat in the spices. Place the eggplant on a large baking tray and roast for 50 minutes. I like my eggplant to be quite soft and then crisp on the outside. Once done, leave out to cool. When the eggplant is no longer piping hot, add the yoghurt and toss again to coat the eggplant. Place the eggplant on a serving platter, then top with the torn buffalo mozzarella. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and lemon. Add the fresh herbs and pine nuts. Enjoy! This will feed 4 people easily along with a protein such as grilled chicken, fish or beef.
Photography by Andy Stavert