We have this dish surprisingly often, in fact sometimes we eat it twice a week. It does take some time to get all the parts together but not that long compared to the taste sensation it anamours you with. It doubles up with looking like a great party dish, perfect for when you have guests round, even better if they are vegetarian or if they are vegan in which case just omit the halloumi.
It’s a simple dish to make, and it originates from Jerusalem. It is finished with a sprinkle of Za’tar. Za’tar is a traditional middle eastern spice that contains thyme, sesame and salt mainly. We first discovered it on a trip to Jordan which we were lucky enough to go on when our eldest was just 9 months old. We had no worries about gluten at that time (that we knew about anyway), but she did at that time have the severe egg allergy that she still has and also a dairy allergy, so we did have some challenges. We stayed with a Jordanian family who fed us really well, they bought us a huge packet of Za’tar to take home and when they visit Uk, they pass more over to us. The authentic stuff tends to be naturally gluten free, but do check as the more commercial ones do have toasted wheat in.
Back to the dish – if you love aubergines like us, then you’ll love this. You can fry the aubergines too, but we cover them in oil and stick them in the oven, which feels easier and less time consuming, Whilst they are cooking you can make all the other parts which makes the dish so delectable. The combination of the bitter tahini dressing, fresh pomegranates seeds and pomegranate molasses dressing over the aubergines just works. Pair it with halloumi, salad and rice or a plain pilaf if you wish.
I’d love to hear if anyone loves this recipe as much as me and what variations you have tried out.
Aubergine, Halloumi, Tahini and Pomegranate spectacular
- 1 large aubergine sliced
- olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon tahini
- 1 Tablespoon water
- juice of half a lemon
- pinch of salt
- Pomegranate molasses
- Extra Virgin Olive oil
- Pomegranate seeds from half a pomegranate
- A desert spoon of za'tar
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 180C
- Step 2 Slice the aubergines about 1cm thick.
- Step 3 Place them in a baking tray as spread out as possible, and top with olive oil. Make sure both sides are covered with oil.
- Step 4 Bake for 20 mins turning half way through cooking
- Step 5 Meanwhile, combine tahini, lemon juice and water in a bowl, season to taste and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
- Step 6 Make the Pomegranate dressing by whisking up the pomegranate and extra virgin olive oil in a small dish. Set aside.
- Step 7 If you are having salad, then make the salad and also fry the halloumi now.
- Step 8 Once the aubergines are cooked then layer them on a nice dish. Drizzle the pomegranate dressing over the top, then add a trail of the tahini dressing followed by the pomegranates.
- Step 9 Place the halloumi next to the aubergines and sprinkle both with Za’tar.
- Step 10 Tuck in and enjoy.