Aubergine Salad with Yoghurt Dressing and Pickled Courgette

This combination takes the humble aubergine and courgette to a new level. At first glance, it may seem like a lot of ingredients but don’t let that put you off. A lot of them are store cupboard staples. If you don’t happen happen to have them at hand, they are easily available from your local market or supermarket. If you don’t want to make the pickle, just use some flash fried thinly sliced courgette or finely shaved raw courgette dressed with some lemon juice and olive oil. This dish is delicious served as a salad or as an accompaniment to grilled lamb cutlets or fish.

Serves 4

3 aubergines
olive oil
salt and pepper
4 spring onions
1 red chilli
1 small bunch flat leaf parsley
1 small bunch basil
1 small bunch mint

Yoghurt dressing
200 g Greek yoghurt
1 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon water (or a little more if required)
salt and pepper

Pickled Courgette
1 large courgette
1 tablespoon salt
70 g demarara sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 small shallots
250 ml cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds

Begin with the courgette pickle. Slice the courgette and shallots as thinly as possible. If you have a mandolin, you can slice the courgette on that, but mind your fingers. Place the courgette and shallot in a bowl with the salt and leave to stand for 15 minutes. Toast the mustard and fennel seeds in a dry pan to release their aromas. Transfer to a bowl and add the remaining ingredients, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Pour off any liquid from the courgette and shallots and place them in the pickling liquid. At least an hour in the pickle would be great before serving. These don’t really keep for long and are best eaten on the day they are made.

Now on to the dressing; place the Greek yoghurt in a bowl and grate the zest of the lemon over. Add 3 tablespoons lemon juice (or to taste), 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon water. Whisk to a smooth dressing. It should have the consistency of thick pouring cream. If it’s a little on the thick side, add a little extra water. Set aside.

Slice the aubergine lengthways into 1 cm thick slices. Heat a griddle pan over medium-high heat. Brush the aubergine slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill about 4-5 minutes on each side until tender and well marked from the grill. You’ll probably have to do this in batches. Transfer the aubergine to a large plate.

Finely slice the spring onions diagonally, finely chop the chilli and pick the herbs off the stalks.

To finish the dish, place the aubergine on a serving platter and spoon over the yoghurt dressing. Scatter over the spring onions, chilli and herbs. Drain the courgettes and shallots from the pickling liquid and lay on top. Serve straight away.

We, the Amsterdam Flavours chefs, hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. If you have any questions on how to prepare it or just want to send us your feedback, you can reach us here Contact Amsterdam Flavours