Grilled eggplant, fennel, goat yogurt, smoked paprika oil

GRILLED EGGPLANT, FENNEL & GOAT YOGURT

Serves 4 | Prep/cooking 30 mins
INGREDIENTS
  • 750g 1 large, round eggplant, ends removed and cut into 2 cm. round slices
  • 125ml olive oil, divided
  • 300g fennel bulbs, peeled with a vegetable peeler to remove coarse fibers
  • 400g goat yogurt
  • 10g smoked sweet Spanish paprika (Pimentón de la Vera)
  • 15g garlic cloves, peeled and sliced paper-thin
  • 10ml freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 32 leaves fresh coriander, plus micro-coriander for garnish if available
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Maldon sea salt flakes, to taste
PREPARATION

1. Prepare a very hot charcoal fire in the grill

2. Line a fine colander with a dampened piece of butter muslin or tea towel. Set the colander in a bowl to catch the whey and gently spoon the yogurt onto the cloth. Allow to sit and drain at room temperature until reduced in volume by a third, about 2 hours.

3. When drained, transfer the yogurt to a small bowl, season to taste with salt, and refrigerate. Discard the whey.

4. Put 50 ml. olive oil in a very small pot. Add the sliced garlic cloves and place over low heat. Allow to cook gently until the garlic slices are softened but not colored.

5. Add the smoked paprika, stir well and remove from the heat. Allow to cool to room temperature.

6. Brush the eggplant slices on both sides with olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Grill the eggplant, turning once, until cooked through, tender, and browned on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and allow to cool to warm room temperature while preparing the rest of the dish.

7. Shave the fennel paper-thin, preferably with a mandolin. It is important that the slices are as thin as possible.

8. Combine the lemon juice and 30 ml. olive oil in a small bowl and whisk to blend well. Season to taste with salt & pepper.

9. Pour the prepared dressing over the shaved fennel and toss well to coat. Adjust seasoning as necessary.

To Finish the Dish

1. Divide the dressed fennel between 4 medium plates.

2. Divide the eggplant slices between the 4 plates and place on the fennel.

3. Spoon the drained yogurt over the eggplant.

4. Scatter with Maldon salt to taste.

5. Drizzle with the smoked paprika and garlic oil and garnish with coriander leaves and micro coriander if available.

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