This is probably the archetypal Ottolenghi salad: robust contrasting flavors, vibrant and vivacious colors, fresh herbs, and nuts. To create the most impact, we recommend that you serve it from a communal plate brought out to the dining table. It makes an exciting starter and doesn’t need much else alongside it.
- To make the sauce, infuse the saffron in the hot water in a small bowl for 5 minutes. Pour the infusion into a bowl containing the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and some salt. Whisk well to get a smooth, golden sauce. Taste and adjust the salt, if necessary, then chill. This sauce will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the eggplant slices on a baking sheet, brush both sides with plenty of olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 35 minutes, until the slices take on a beautiful light brown color. Let them cool down. The eggplants will keep in the fridge for 3 days; just let them come to room temperature before serving.
- To serve, arrange the eggplant slices on a large plate, slightly overlapping. Drizzle the saffron yogurt over them, sprinkle with the pine nuts and pomegranate seeds, and lay the basil on top.
- Exclusive from OTTOLENGHI: THE COOKBOOK. Copyright © 2015 by Yotam Ottolenghi. Photograph copyright © 2015 by Richard Learoyd. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.