Roasted Aubergine Salad with Saffron Yogurt, Pine Nuts and Pomegranate

 Roasted Aubergine Salad with Saffron Yogurt (01) by MeetaK

Well I am back home in Germany, experiencing crass opposites. From bright sunshine to cloudy grey, from the warmth of 25 degrees to a freezing –5 degrees, from pure relaxation to a whirlwind of chores and routines, from a houseful of family and the buzz of commotion to a serene and fairly empty home, from indulging in exquisite dishes from every part of the world to simple and comforting home cooked meals, from high heel sandals to high boots and from light cotton to thick flannels.

Crass opposites is an understatement to say the least. While part of me is happy to be back home another part still yearns to be enjoying the carefree days in Dubai. Winter in Weimar has been long this time. Beautiful for sure but it can stop snowing and be freezing cold already.

For me January and February are generally boring months. Time seems to be at a standstill as I await with anticipation for the first signs of spring. I usually taunt it to come earlier with colorful tulips and hyacinths, leaving an alluring scent all over the house. It does not always work and as I put on my gloves and snuggle deeper into my woolen scarf I look at the piles of snow outside with disdain.

The supermarket shelves are already beginning to stock up on strawberries and rhubarb. It’s hard but I am keeping my fingers away. It’s not the time yet, I know but they tease me with all their promises of juicy Spring excitement.

So, while I wait I am jonesing for vibrant flavored food. Tart, tangy, mellow, smooth, creamy, fruity and intense.

Pomegranate Seeds (01) by MeetaK

It all came in the form of one recipe – the first recipe I saw when I opened the crisp pages of my new Ottolenghi Cookbook (thank you Hilda) was of deliciously roasted aubergines smothered in thick yogurt spiced with vibrant saffron. Of course regulars to this space will know the love affair I have with this spice, so the recipe was calling my name. I truly love the fact that jewels of pomegranate added a slight tangy flavoring and roasted pine nuts gave it a nutty crunch. 

Roasted Aubergine Salad with Saffron Yogurt (03) by MeetaK

Greek yogurt gave a wonderful creamy texture to the dressing – so good I was spooning it on its own.

Roasted Aubergine Salad with Saffron Yogurt, Pine Nuts and Pomegranate

Adapted from Ottolenghi - The Cookbook

Printable version of recipe here


3 medium aubergines, cut into wedges
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
olive oil
a good handful of pomegranate seeds, approx. 1/2 pomegranate
handful of basil leaves, coarsely chopped
coarse sea salt and crushed black pepper

For the Saffron Yogurt
pinch of saffron strands, infused in approx. 3 tablespoons hot water – 5 minutes
180g thick Greek yogurt
1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Make the sauce first by gently beating the yogurt in a small bowl until it is smooth. Pour in the saffron infused water and stir to incorporate. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk well. Adjust seasoning to taste. Refrigerate till required.

  2. Preheat oven to 220 degrees C. Toss the aubergine wedges with salt, pepper and plenty of olive oil in a large bowl until the aubergine is nicely coated. Transfer the vegetables to a roasting tray or an ovenproof dish. Roast for 20-35 minutes depending on how your oven works. Once the aubergine wedges have taken on a deep golden color take them out of the oven and allow to cool.

  3. Arrange the aubergine wedges on a large serving plate, then drizzle generously with the saffron yogurt. Sprinkle with pine nuts, pomegranate seeds and basil leaves.

- The saffron sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored in the fridge.

- Once the aubergines are roasted they can be stored in the fridge for 3 days. Allow them to come to room temperature before serving.

- This is a great starter with some pita bread. We however, enjoyed it as a side to a lovely Middle Eastern style chicken.

- Leftovers? Use this to stuff pita bread for delicious vegetarian sandwiches.




Roasted Aubergine Salad with Saffron Yogurt (02) by MeetaK 

This is a glorious dish with robust contrasting flavors and vivid, exuberant colors. Each ingredient complements the other playing off the aromas perfectly. I could not get enough of this – I love aubergines and paired with the saffron yogurt it was heavenly. Tom enjoyed the diverse flavors the dish provided, making each bite explode with a whole new flavor combination.

I am sorting through my pictures of Dubai and hope to take you away to a fun filled photo tour with me towards the end of the week. Hope you’ll join me then.

Jamie is hosting this month’s Monthly Mingle and has chosen Bread & Chocolate as her theme. Make sure you join us - you still have a few days so pop over to Jamie’s lovely blog and check out all the details!



If you like aubergines you might like these ideas from WFLH:

Aubergine Dolma with a Piquant Rice Filling and Tzatziki

Ratatouille Provençal Aubergine Choka


All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2010 Meeta Khurana unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

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  1. Brilliant Meeta...glad to hear you enjoyed Dubai. I'm loving that yoghurt dressing with saffron.

  2. Welcome back Meeta! It's always the worst thing when you come back to a cold country from a gorgeous hot holiday.

    Loving this salad, looks so fresh, go Otto's! I love your shot of the pomegranates in the bowl - lovely!

  3. I knew the second I saw this that it had to be an Ottolenghi recipe and I haven't even looked at my book properly yet. Sounds delicious!

  4. That is such a gorgeous combo! I can't wait to be in summer in order to eat eggplants...



  5. You're welcome my lovely friend, and so fitting that it's the saffron yogurt recipe that you opened on since I gave it to you. ;) This was one of the very first things we tasted in Ottolenghi too and has been a favorite at our house ever since. I heart the saffron and the pomegranates...

  6. This has to be the best salad I have seen around for a while. Love everything about it and it is extremely my kind. makes me want to get up and make some for myself right now. Most exotic flavors brought together here.

  7. Exquisitely beautiful! I love the colors and the dressing sounds perfect with it. :-)

  8. welcome back! This salad looks great... and fairly simple to put together :)

  9. What a beautiful salad, Meeta!!! I love just about all the ingredients you have used, but those red rubies are just awesome!!!

  10. This is one of my favourite recipes from the book. So fresh & vibrant.

  11. Gorgeous fresh flavours - beautiful and delicious I bet! You can't go wrong with Ottolenghi :D x

  12. That looks lovely! Aubergine and pomegranate are a great combination!

  13. Bookmarking this to try as soon as possible.

  14. I always love your unique mix of flavors - they always entice me! This sounds awesome.

  15. Welcome home Meeta.....I'm sure you had a fab time in Dubai,.... Enjoy the cold....and cook up warmth!

  16. What a wonderful welcome recipe! :) I could eat the yogurt on its own. Sounds delicious with the saffron and garlic! Yum.

  17. The dressing looks wonderful! I bet it would be great on almost anything - pita wraps, frittatas etc. I'm often a little bit afraid of saffron... something about the expense, and worries of wasting it if whatever I'm making is just not quite worth it. But this looks SO good I think I have to give it a try.

  18. Hey Meeta,
    M new to ur soo cheerful blog...loved reading ur post.
    Will be bk for more.

  19. like sarah, i knew instantly you'd been dabbling with an ottolenghi recipe!

  20. oh my goodness yum! I have to make this soon! I am hosting a recipe competition on my blog and I really hope you participate!

  21. This salad looks so exquisite and classy, the saffron and pomegranate give it a very middle eastern feel, not to mention the aubergine ... I'm guessing besides the cookbook, after effects of the Dubai trip :)

  22. Sieht alles sehr lecker aus!Ich liebe Auberginen.Joghurt mit Safran und Knoblauch habe ich noch nicht ausprobiert,aber das werde ich.Vielen Dank für das Rezept.

    Liebe Grüße,

  23. Gorgeous salad! Sheesh I must start cooking out of my Ottolenghi! This looks so delicious.

  24. Thank you everyone for your comments - this truly is a spectacular vibrant dish! Appreciate all your feedback and thoughts.

  25. I love eggplants (and don't they sound much more classy as aubergine?). This recipe is excellent, I love all the components of the dish.

  26. I treated myself to the Ottolenghi cookbook for Xmas, and have been soooo loving it. We are in the height of aubergine season here in New Zealand, and I was planning to get some at the farmers market tomorrow to make this recipe, so great to find your "heads up" on it.

  27. Oooh! This looks so good Meeta! I love eggplant as well as dressings/dips/sauces made with yogurt...I am drooling over here!

    It's so hot over here...and it's not even summer yet (almost). I can't imagine how hot it will become when summer rolls around!

    Looking forward to your Dubai pictures!

  28. What a great way to enjoy some roasted eggplant!

  29. Interesting mix for a salad. Looks good and yummy!

  30. Roasted eggplant is one of my favorite things in the world--the idea of adding such complexity with pomegranate and saffron is very intriguing!

  31. this really is a great recipe from an awesome book. i hope to share more so glad you all are enjoying this flavor mix. thanks for all the comments!

  32. Oh what a fabulous salad - nourishing and gorgeous at the same time. I love those ruby-like pomegranate seeds...

  33. Oh, Meeta - I've made this salad couple of times as well, and was thinking of blogging about it, but am now unsure. My pictures and words will never live up to yours!!

  34. The idea of using Greek yogurt for saffron yogurt dressing is really good idea. I have never used it as dressing but it should be great. Something similar to it is posted at . I would love to hear your comment.


Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.