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Roasted aubergines with tahini

It’s an antioxidant called nasunin, which has been found to protect the lipids in the brain, that gives the skin of an aubergine its gorgeous purple colour. But this wonderful vegetable is rich in lots of other nutrients, too – vitamin K to strengthen capillaries, vitamins B1 and B6 for energy and to help prevent heart disease, and essential copper and magnesium. Aubergines soak up fat when they are fried. Roast them instead for a soft, silky texture and rich flavour.

Roasted aubergines with tahini
Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus 20 minutes resting time
Cooking time: 40-45 minutes
Serves 3-4 as a side dish, 2-3 as a main course

Ingredients
For the aubergines
2 medium aubergines, cut in half lengthways
100ml olive oil
seeds from 4 cardamom pods, ground (optional)

For the dressing
2 tablespoons Greek yoghurt
1 tablespoon tahini
squeeze of lemon or lime juice, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons mint or basil leaves, torn
sea salt and ground black pepper

Method
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Put the aubergines in a roasting tin and drizzle with the olive oil. Shake the roasting tin to ensure the aubergines are coated. Season with salt, lots of black pepper and the cardamom, if using. Roast for 40-45 minutes until the aubergines are soft and toasted. Leave the aubergines to rest for 20 minutes.

To make the dressing, mix the yoghurt, tahini, lemon or lime juice and olive oil in a blender or with a whisk. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Pour the dressing over the aubergines, sprinkle with the mint or basil and serve.

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