The onset of autumn brings a a new seasonal treat into the kitchen – cobnuts. Here, Cotswolds cookery school Thyme pairs the sweet, coconutty flavour of fresh green cobs (or hazelnuts, if you can’t find them) with saffron, yoghurt and another garden-fresh autumnal delight: dill.
Don’t be tempted to salt the aubergines; they only need a brush of oil, leaving you with a healthy and satisfying vegetarian salad that works well as a side dish, but also holds its own as a lunch or supper.
For the aubergines
- 3 aubergines
- Olive oil
For the dressing
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Small bunch of dill, chopped
- Pinch of saffron threads
- 75g cobnuts
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1½ tbsp red or white vinegar
- 200g full-fat Greek yoghurt
1. Cut the aubergines into slices (lengthways or across), about 1.25cm thick. Brush both sides with oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Cook on a very hot griddle or barbecue until they are soft and browned on both sides. Arrange on a plate.
For the dressing:
1. Place the saffron threads in a small bowl with 2 tbsp hot water for 5 minutes. Mix with the dill, garlic, yoghurt, vinegar, 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
2. Fry the cobnuts very briefly in ½ tbsp of oil, stirring constantly until lightly browned all over, and roughly chop.
3. Spoon the dressing over the aubergines and sprinkle with the chopped cobnuts.
4. Drizzle with a little extra oil, to taste.