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Serves 4

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
  • Salt

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.