Smoky eggplant, artichoke and tomato salad

Serves 6

Yoghurt cheese
200g labna (see below)
1/2 cup sumac

1 sourdough roll
2 tblspn Moro Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup fresh dill
1/2 cup fresh chervil
1/2 cup fresh chives
3 tblspn pomegranate molasses
3 tblspn extra-virgin olive oil

6 globe artichokes
1.5 litres water
50ml extra virgin olive oil
5 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp fresh rosemary
1/2 lemon
1 tsp sea salt

1 medium eggplant
2 vine ripened Flavorite Tomatoes
1 lemon, flesh finely diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tspns lemon juice
1 tspn extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

  • To make the Labna (Yoghurt Cheese):
    Rinse a large square of muskun under cold water, then squeeze dry. Spoon 1kg plain yoghurt into the centre, bring the corners together and tie with string. Squeeze any excess water from the yoghurt then suspend over a bowl and put in the fridge to drain for 24-48 hours. The longer the hanging time, the firmer the cheese will be. Remove the cheese from the Muslin and roll into 6 balls and coat in sumac. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

  • To prepare artichokes:
    Cut the stem off each artichoke, laving about 3cm attached. Trim off top quarter of each artichoke and snap away the hard outer leaves. Using a vegetable peeler, shave away the rough outer layer of the stalk and artichoke base. Place remaining ingredients in a medium -size non-reactive pan and bring to boil. Add artichokes, lower heat and simmer gently about 20 minutes. You may need to cover the artichokes with a plate to keep them submerged. Test artichokes with a skewer or toothpick to see if they are tender. When the artichokes are cooked remove from heat and allow to cool in liquid. Transfer to a container and refrigerate in liquid until ready to use. The artichokes will keep for 2-3 days. When ready to use, peel all the leaves off, leaving just the heart. Reserve leaves. Cut the heart into quarters.

  • To prepare salad:
    Prick eggplant all over with a fork, wrap tightly in two layers of foil and sit directly on a high flame, or on a barbecue. Cook about 2 minutes until steam begins to rise from the foil. (Eggplant should be tender, not mushy). Use tongs to remove eggplant from heat, place in a bowl to cool. Remove the foil and carefully peel away the skin. Slice eggplant into quarters removing any seeds, and slice into long strips. Bring a pan of water to the boil, add tomatoes for about 10 seconds and then plunge into iced water for a further 10 seconds before peeling. Cut into quarters, gently squeeze out seeds and slice into strips. Preheat grill. Cut sourdough roll into 6 slices, brush both sides with olive oil and toast under the grill, then store in a dry place until needed. Combine the herbs and refrigerate until needed.

  • To Serve:
    In a large bowl mix together, artichoke leaves and hearts, diced lemon, eggplant and tomato. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and lightly dress the salad. Place a neat mound of salad in the centre of each plate and top with a toasted sourdough toast and a ball of labna. Finish off with a small handful of the fresh herbs and drizzle the plate with a little pomegranate molasses.

Taken from the Herald Sun, August 3rd, 2004

Posted in: All Recipes

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