Sail away with a heavenly aubergine boat…

 Are you speechless? I am. I am literally speechless looking at what I created…its just so pretty! I’m sure it’s the prettiest dish I’ve ever produced. And so tasty…a perfect flavour combination?! 

This was one of my lunches this week and it worked beautifully, I will definitely be making it, and versions of it, again and again…

I’m ready for my close up πŸ˜‰ 

This is basically a cooked aubergine, filled with tahini sauce and chermoula, topped with more tahini sauce (there can never be too much tahini sauce!) and sprinkled with dried barberries and roasted flaked almonds, on a bed of crisp lettuce. Heaven on a plate! 

This was a complete meal for me, and I think it could be a great offering to any vegetarian guest, or if you use smaller aubergines (see below) it could be a lovely starter? 

I am sharing this with everyone at this week’s Easter Fiesta Friday, co hosted this week by Natalie and Hilda, and with everyone at Throwback Thursday, I hope they all like it. 

So, onto the method..

This is what I did…

The aubergine
: this was a large aubergine, very large, if you are using a small or medium aubergine, amend times accordingly. 


Heat your grill/broiler to high

Prick the skin, place the aubergine on a kitchen towel and microwave on high for 4 minutes; it will already feel soft to the touch. The aim with having a stint in the microwave is to ensure that the flesh is cooked all the way through

Next, carefully place the aubergine on some foil on a baking tray and place under the grill, as close as possible, without touching

The aim is to crisp the skin, and take it to the point where it’s not actually burnt 

Keep an eye on the aubergine and keep turning it so that all of the aubergine is under the grill at some point; it may take 10-15 minutes to do 

When you feel it’s done, you may see liquid oozing from the pricked skin, remove the aubergine and gently place it on whatever plate you will serve it on

Make a long slit along the top and fill as you wish. 

NOTE: if you prefer, you could skip the microwave step and only cook the aubergine under the grill/broiler, it will obviously need longer under the grill, and you’ll need to keep an eye that it doesn’t burn, but you will get the same outcome eventually, possibly even better. 

OR, you could be really authentic, and go for a really smoky flavour, and cook the aubergine over the open flame of a gas burner. To do this you have to keep turning the aubergine and try to hold it without squashing it too much. And it WILL make a real mess of your hob/stove – I tried it once..never again! 


The tahini sauce: I make this so often that I just chuck it into the blender, but I did attempt to measure what I was doing on one occasion. This creates a consistency that I like, you can make it thicker or thinner depending on your taste and required use.


300g tahini (I am quite specific about the tahini use, Lebanese is the best if you can find it; failing that, something of middle eastern origin is good. Greek tahini is very thick, and Turkish tahini is a lot thinner and quite bitter. I’ve tried and tested many versions and always come back to the Lebanese ones) 

100ml lemon juice

300ml water 


Blend well and keep in the fridge. It may separate over a few days, just stir it if it does.  

NOTE: I don’t add garlic to my tahini sauce, which would be typical, I like it as it is, plus I can then use it in different ways if I want to. You can’t open a food magazine today without a recipe somewhere inside that includes a tahini dressing, so your tahini sauce can provide a base for any of those; if I have leftover roasted vegetables, I often blend them with a few tablespoons of tahini sauce and create a dip; if you’ve got stewed or chopped fresh fruit, you can use tahini sauce as an alternative to yoghurt or cream; or just add a dollop to your plate with any meal – like I do!  The possibilities are endless! 

Having recently read Indu’s post where she made chermoula, it reminded me that I haven’t made any for while; I needed to change that, and fast, and I had all of the ingredients to hand, so that’s what I did…

The chermoula..


1 large bunch flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

1 large bunch coriander, roughly chopped

2-3 cloves garlic

1 tbsp paprika

2 tbsp ground roasted cumin

1 tbsp dried red pepper flakes (optional) 

Juice of 1 lemon

150ml olive oil


Blend it all together, but keep it roughly chopped, don’t go so far that it becomes a green paste. You want to still be able to see the different colours of the ingredients.  

NOTE: Your chermoula will keep in the fridge for several days, the flavours will only get better.  You can also use the chermoula in many other ways, not just as a dip or sauce like I’ve done; it can be used to marinade chicken or halloumi or paneer or vegetables for roasting; as a sauce with fish. If you look it up, you’ll find lots of suggestions. 

I tried to get a shot as I ate it to show the full extent of the inside of the aubergine in all its gooey beauty with these lovely fillings – hopefully you get the idea

To serve

I placed my cooked aubergine on a bed of chopped lettuce, made a slit along the top, spooned in some tahini sauce, then lots of the chermoula, before spooning more tahini sauce all over it, and topped it all with dried barberries and roasted flaked almonds. 

Perfection! The collection of flavours is so good, whether you just chopped and roasted the aubergine, or created a vessel like I did. It all just works together.


And Happy Easter, enjoy your weekend πŸ™‚ 

84 thoughts on “Sail away with a heavenly aubergine boat…

  1. sallybr

    Agreed! This is one gorgeous dish, and I intend to make it soon – btw, guess what is going to be on my blog very soon? A “certain aubergine” dish from your site πŸ˜‰

    this one is really so beautiful! I think I would sprinkle pomegranate seeds, as I don’t have dried barberries, I don’t think I’ve ever tried them – the tahini sauce I would probably eat with a spoon, love the stuff

    happy Easter for you too! I hope you are headed to a fantastic weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Elaine @ foodbod Post author

      Thank you so much, I’m glad you like it πŸ˜€ pomegranate seeds would work perfectly!
      I look forward to your post then ☺️☺️
      It’s a beautiful sunny day here, England at its best, a lovely intro to Easter. I hope you have a lovely weekend xxx


  2. Anita Kushwaha

    I tend to read your post at lunch time and they make me so hungry, Elaine! πŸ™‚ Eggplant is one of my favourite veggies but I don’t make it often enough. Happy Easter weekend to you too!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hilda

    I can see why you were rendered speechless. Not only is it a beautiful and, of course, tasty dish, but you managed to get such perfect photos to share with us. Definitely a must try for me. Happy Easter!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. goatsandgreens

    This is ultimately cool. I just bought a bunch of mini-aubergines, because they were telling me they wanted to come home with me (impulse buy — they weren’t on my list) I might adapt this concept for an appetizer/finger food item… smiling, thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Master of Something Yet

    I’m definitely bookmarking this one. A friend was sharing a photo of her veggie garden haul and in it she had eggplants which made me think “oh, I’ve haven’t tried growing those”. I’ve got it noted for next summer. πŸ™‚ And thank you for the tahini recipe too.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Divine Spice Box

    Oh my my … this looks like aubergine heaven on a plate… i can dive into this even when i have just finished my lunch and is full… wow looks so so good. I love grilling aubergines and do it for many of the Indian dishes too so i am sure this would be a new favorite when i try it out ! Thanks for such a amazing recipe dear Elaine ❀ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Loretta

    You are an amazing creator in the kitchen Elaine. I want to dive into that boat right about now. You make eating vegetables so exciting with all the flavors and textures that you use. I didn’t realize tahini was made in different ethnic kitchens?

    Liked by 1 person

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  10. Mastering Persian Cooking

    Oh yes I am loving your recipes already. The saying that we eat with our eyes was made for this dish. The photos are so beautiful that my mouth is watering from just looking at them. I have never tried chermoula but I love all the ingredients that go in it and I am a BIG fan of eggplants so I will definitely try this recipe. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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