Nigel Slater’s recipe for aubergine, mint and cucumber yoghurt

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Remove the stems from 2 large aubergines or 3 medium ones (about 600g total in weight), then cut each one in half, then in half again and then into short lengths (about 4-5cm). Put the aubergine wedges in a roasting tin with 125ml of olive oil, then roast for 30 minutes or until golden on the underside. Turn them, pour in 100ml of water and return to the oven for about 20 minutes until soft and golden.

Meanwhile, cut a 250g piece of cucumber in half lengthways, scoop out the seeds and the wet central core with a teaspoon and discard them, then cut the flesh into small dice and put into a mixing bowl.

Finely chop 6 plump, stoned green olives and add them to the cucumber. Stir in 2 tsp of drained capers (or well rinsed, if salted ones). Finely dice 6 cornichons and also add them to the cucumber. Peel 1 clove of garlic and crush it to a paste with a pinch of sea salt, then stir it into the chopped cucumber mixture together with 400ml of strained yoghurt.

Remove the leaves from a small bunch of coriander, parsley or mint (or a mixture of all three, about 30g total weight) and finely chop. Mix into the yoghurt and set aside for 15 minutes. Just before serving stir in 1 tbsp of white wine vinegar and taste for seasoning.

Remove the aubergines from the oven and then serve with the cucumber and herb yoghurt. Enough for 2. Ready in 60 minutes

The herby cucumber yoghurt makes a good base for a sumptuous sandwich filling, especially for smoked salmon or grilled vegetables.

I sometimes serve this with the aubergine wedges chilled as a main course salad for a light lunch.

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