Poached eggs with aubergine, fried potatoes and tahini

A lovely brunch dish from Ottolenghi. The components are all prepared separately and it takes approximately one hour to prepare, which maybe makes it a week day dinner but a weekend brunch.

It reminds me of the fried potato and aubergine pitta with tahini, lemon and salt my dad used to enjoy and my mum used to frown upon as the sandwich of heart attacks. This is possibly the same heart attack status but the salsa and green bits make it look a bit healthier at least.

Serves 2

4 eggs
1 large aubergine
8 small waxy potatoes

2 large tomatoes
1/2 a red onion
1 red chilli
sumac 1/2 tsp
juice of 1/2 a lemon
drizzle of olive oil
Tahini Sauce
5 tablespoons of tahini
water (have half a cup ready)
juice of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove
Parsley to serve

First chop the aubergine in to a large dice and sprinkle with salt. Leave in a colander to drain for 20 minutes.

slice the potatoes into 3 or 4 slices depending on their size. Parboil them for approximately 5 minutes and drain.

Whilst you are boiling the potatoes, make the salsa. Put the tomatoes into boiling water for 4 minutes and then peel off the skins. Remove the seeds and the core and chop to a fine dice. Chop the onion to a small dice and de seed the chilli and chop finely. Combine everything, add the sumac, lemon, olive oil and set aside.

Make the tahini sauce by putting the tahini in a bowl and adding one clove of crushed garlic, Add the lemon juice slowly and whisk. It will become thick. Slowly add the water and keep whisking. Once it is a silky, creamy consistency (aka not runny but not like a paste). Add a pinch of salt and set aside.

Pat the aubergine with kitchen towel to get rid of excess moisture. Heat vegetable oil in a pan. You will need enough to submerge the aubergine cubes. Fry and keep an eye on them so that they do not burn. Once they are golden set aside with kitchen towel underneath and on top of the aubergine to get rid of the excess oil. Season with salt.

In another pan add 4 tablespoons of olive oil, the potatoes and season with a teaspoon of salt and fry the potatoes until they are golden and crisp.

The last stage is poaching the eggs. A friend gave me a top tip of using cling film when you are poaching more than one egg in a pan. I have committed to this with some additions. Firstly stretch the cling film over a glass. Grease it with a little olive oil, Crack the egg in to it and season with a little salt and pepper. You then ‘twizzle’ the cling film edges together to contain the egg in a little cling film parcel.

The eggs should take approximately 3 minutes to poach. Un peel the cling film carefully. I leave the egg sitting on the film so that it is easy to transport to the plate.

Meanwhile assemble as follows; aubergine layer, tahini sauce, potato layer, tahini sauce and then layer the potatoes and aubergine again if you have more with the sauce. Place the poached eggs on top followed by the salsa and parsley and season with salt and pepper.

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