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Grilled vegetables with eggplant spread and labneh

Serves 4
Prep time: 1 hour + 12 hours chilling time
Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes

I make big quantities of grilled vegetables at this time of year to have in the fridge to add to sandwiches and to serve alongside cooked meat and fish. They also make a satisfying vegetarian meal.

Ingredients

Method

  • 2 cups Greek yoghurt, full fat (I use The Collective Straight Up)
  • 3 Eggplants
  • 1 Olive oil, for drizzling on vegetables
  • ⅓ cup Lemon juice
  • ¼ cup Extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 1 Garlic clove, crushed to a paste with a pinch of sea salt flakes
  • 1 Red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 Coriander, small bunch
  • 4 Courgettes
  • 3 Capsicums, mixed colours
  • 3 Fennel bulbs, small
View the method
  1. For the labneh, mix 1/8 tsp salt through the yoghurt and place in a sieve lined with muslin over a bowl (the whey will drain from the yoghurt in to the bowl). Cover and place in the fridge for 6-48 hours, depending on how firm you want your labneh.
  2. For the eggplant spread, cut 2 of the eggplants in half and brush the cut surface with olive oil. Cook on the barbecue grill over a medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes until tender. Chop the eggplant in to a bowl, mash with a fork and then, using the fork, whip in the lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, chilli and 2 Tbsp chopped coriander stalks. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Slice the third eggplant in to 6 strips lengthways, the courgettes in to 4 strips lengthways, the peppers in to eights and the fennel in to quarters (save the fronds to garnish) Drizzle with oil and grill on the barbecue until tender, the peppers and fennel will take longer. Remove the eggplant and courgettes to a plate. Place the peppers in a bowl and cover for 5-10 minutes to steam slightly, making it easy to slip the skins off.
  4. Serve the grilled vegetables on top of the eggplant spread with plenty of coriander leaves and some fennel fronds. Serve the labneh in a bowl with a pool of extra virgin olive oil and chopped herbs for spooning on to plates as desired. Crusty bread is a good accompaniment.
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