Baked Aubergine (Yotam Ottolenghi Recipe)

I have to say that when I popped into my local Morrisons store this week, I did not expect to be met by such an amazing array of seasonal fruit and vegetables. I almost started taking photographs, but held back, in case someone thought I was mad. They did recently refurbish the store and so now it has a true ‘market’ feel but the produce was really far beyond anything I’ve ever seen at a supermarket in Britain before. Much of it was organic, there was also a section of locally grown produce as well as more unusual varieties of fruits and vegetables, such as the graffiti aubergines and the candy striped beetroot below, as well as fresh pomegranates. There must have been at least twenty different varieties of chili, fresh herbs and salad leaves kept watered and fresh, British heritage varieties of apples, pears as well as bang-in-season fresh spinach, artichokes, salsify, wild mushrooms, really everything you could imagine or look for. I am converted. It is so encouraging to see supermarkets really starting to support and push British seasonal produce and offer it at a reasonable cost.

Find the recipe here:

When I came home I immediately dived into one of my favourite cook books, Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi  to find a recipe for Aubergines with Buttermilk Sauce. I didn’t have lemon thyme, so I just used grated lemon zest and that seemed to work fine. Everything else was as Yotam suggests.

I will say without hesitation that this dish is simple to prepare – watch the lovely Yotam make it on You Tube here – (I could just keep this playing and listen to it all day!) When cooked, it looks visually beautiful (perfect for a dinner party) and tastes delicious. I was happy to be able to use some of my Steenbergs Za’atar  (Steenbergs make organic and Fairtrade herbs and spices) which was screaming to be used since being found inside my goodie bag from Food Blogger Connect over the summer. All in all, a fun and inspiring trip to the shops and a simple but tasty lunch!  I will be linking this up with Simple and in Season where already the entries are coming in thick and fast!


This week I also got to meet Karen from Lavender and Lovage for lunch. Karen is based in South West France and has immersed herself this year into food blogging, having been already made a career out of professional food writing, photography and food styling, writing features and columns for Country Kitchen magazine as well as other British publications. Karen and I easily spent almost three hours chatting about food, blogging and how much we both enjoy being part of such a friendly online community.  We both said how much we enjoyed finally meeting one another, it’s always lovely to be able to meet in person, in addition to enthusiastically tweeting and commenting on posts! Karen was very sweet to my children and bought me some lovely French chocolat au Citron Noir (delicious) and also these beautiful cabbage plants. In the time that we spent together I also became slightly addicted to the Oreo Cookie Hot Chocolate I was drinking ay the Secret Garden Cafe in St Albans! Thank you Karen for my gifts and for coming to meet us.

So that’s it for now, the end of another busy half-term week. A burst pipe in my kitchen is being fixed as I type, Halloween is looming, I have to work on my macaron making skills as I have been sent a lovely gift set to try by Lakeland and next week will mark my first year of blogging milestone! I’ve also been challenged to take part in a video blogging competition, which I’m very nervous about but will do my best! 

Later today I’ll also be announcing the winner of the Leon Baking & Puddings cook book giveaway which has been very popular. There’s still time to enter if you haven’t already. 

What are your plans for the weekend? Have you been inspired by any produce or cookbooks this week?



  1. Ren says

    Thank you :-) Yes, really enjoying cooking with lots more veggies at the moment. Should be posting my macaron kit review soon, quiet a challenge for me as I’m not really familiar with macarons.

  2. says

    The pictures look amazing. I can’t believe you found it in Morrison’s. I love Ottolenghi’s recipes and think you’ve done a brilliant job here. Cant wait to hear about the macaron kit as I have yet to embark on trying them out.

  3. says

    Hi Ren; Just discovered your blog via Wikio… I like what I see! I’m as fanatical about food as you are, by the look of it, but I am also a keen gardener. I love cooking the food I have produced. (Also a fan of Ottolenghi!) I invite you to take a look at my blog… My photos aren’t in the same class as yours, but I’m hoping they might be, one day.

    • Ren says

      Hi Mark, thank you for the really kind comments. I’m really looking forward to finding your blog too, will pop over now. I’m very much in awe of anyone who grows their own food, it’s such a labour of love! I’m looking forward to trying a few more veggies in the garden next year. I think you would love the Simple and in Season event hosted here, so please join in.

  4. says

    I’m amazed that you found that quality of local produce in Morrisons. They usually are fairly abysmal in supporting local suppliers in my experience. I love this recipe from Plenty. It’s one of my favourite books and as my vegetarian daughter has challenged us to give up meat for a month I will be turning to it regularly in November. Can’t wait to hear about the video challenge (having dipped my toe nervously into the video water recently myself).

    • Ren says

      Hi Sally, so was I! That’s why I wanted to start taking piccies! I think they are getting really good now at supporting local, so fingers crossed it stays that way. I don’t think the pomegranates were that local!!

      Well done for giving up meat, I love Ottolenghi’s Plenty and am also watching River Cottage Veg Everyday and getting more and more into veg too.

      Don’t mention the video blogging! Just had a go and my battery ran out half way through!! So now I’ll have to start again tomorrow. I am loving your videos, very journalistic! x

    • Ren says

      Thanks Urvashi. Yes I’m excited about the Macaron set, to see whether it is worth it or not. I know you can buy whoopie pie/macaron tins too that sort of work for both things so I will investigate that and perhaps compare. x

    • Ren says

      Thanks Ellie, strangely the beetroot, when cooked, turned a brown colour! It tasted yummy, but not as vibrant as a classic red variety. Prettier raw, so maybe sliced finely on a mandolin as a salad would be best. I haven’t got one though, scared I will chop my fingers!x

    • Ren says

      Thanks Sarah, it really is a treat, I don’t think I could find better produce anywhere else locally and very reasonably priced. The fish counter is always very good quality too, gets my vote all round! Hope half term has been good. x

    • Ren says

      Thanks Laura, I know, I can hardly believe it’s been a year already but then again, so much has happened! Not sure what to do for my ‘blogoversary’ – bake a cake?! x

    • Ren says

      Aah thank you, such a lopvely thing to do with simple ingredients. And yes, I do love Ottolenghi’s inspiring recipes!

  5. says

    I saw this at Lavener and Lovage too, and I LOVED it! I ought to take a trip down to morissons one day! My local supermarket is tesco/asda.

    • Ren says

      Hiya, I have shopped there before but it’s not my nearest supermarket. Will have to fit my shopping around errands in that area now!

  6. says

    My favourite vegetable (or is it fruit, I am not sure)! Succulent and tasty! I’m gonna make this now! Thanks for passing the inspiration around! :)

    • Ren says

      Thank you so much Sneige, a lovely recipe. Good question, a fruit or vegetable?! I have always thought vegetable! x

  7. Ren says

    Hi Karen, how lovely that your mum and dad read blog posts! I hope they like this one and I’m sure they love your blog too. I’m so pleased you managed to get to Morrisons with Hannah, it has to be one of the best ones on the country with its ‘new look’ market feel. Loved it, going back tomorrow!

    The cabbage plants are just stunning, both equallly beautiful, I can’t decide which colour is my favourite. I have put them in little plant pots. The kids are really taken with them too, calling them cabbage trees!

    I haven’t tried the barley risotto but I will do now you’ve mentioned it. Ottolenghi tweeted me! LOL.

    See you on 18th – enjoy the rest of your stay in the UK.