Autumn sniffs and sore throats seem to be everywhere at the moment. After a long, hot summer, most of us are struggling to make the transition to shorter days and cooler nights. Following the natural health route, I believe that what we choose to put in our mouths affects how we feel. This recipe is filled with health-boosting ingredients – cinnamon, turmeric, tahini, natural yoghurt, chilli, and eggplants – go on, what are you waiting for? Nourish yourself.
4 small-medium eggplants
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tsp fresh turmeric, grated*
1 tsp ground cinnamon
For the tahini-yoghurt dressing:
2 tbsp natural yoghurt
2 tbsp unhulled tahini
1 tbsp olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tbsp water
For the couscous:
1½ cups cooked Israeli couscous
½ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 tbsp preserved lemon, finely sliced
1 red chilli, finely chopped
2 tbsp toasted hazelnuts
Extra virgin olive oil
Baby purple cabbage shoots, for garnish
Extra ground cinnamon, for garnish
Preheat oven to 160C
Combine the turmeric, ground cinnamon, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl. Whisk to combine.
Cut the eggplants in half lengthways. Using a small sharp knife, make a few incisions into the cut side of each eggplant half, being careful not to cut through the skin. Repeat at the opposite angle to create a diamond shape pattern.
Lightly grease a baking tray with olive oil and place the eggplants in it, cut side facing up. Brush the eggplants with the turmeric-spiked olive oil – keep brushing until well coated and the oil has been absorbed into the flesh.
Pop into the oven to roast for 30-35 minutes, until the flesh is soft and just browned. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.
Combine the couscous, preserved lemon slices, chilli, parsley, and hazelnuts in a bowl. Drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper and mix well.
For the dressing, combine the yoghurt, tahini, olive oil, and lemon juice. Whisk until well incorporated, adding a touch of water if necessarily to achieve a buttermilk-like consistency.
To serve, arrange eggplants on a serving plate or platter and spoon over couscous mixture. Top with a drizzle of the tahini dressing, a dusting of cinnamon, and a garnish of baby herbs. Serve.