Early this morning, one of my neighbours knocked on my door and suggested a barbeque at her place in the evening with some other neighbours. Such spontaneity is not common in Switzerland and I happen to love informal gatherings like these at short notice.
Given that one neighbour happens to be a vegetarian, the first dish that came to my mind was Yotam Ottolenghi’s Aubergines with Buttermilk Sauce which I made for the first time only a few weeks ago.
This time around, I chose much smaller aubergines as they were to be eaten as a side dish alongside other grilled vegetables. I still roasted them for about 40 minutes until they were soft and golden in colour, though they were probably still a bit too firm for my liking – it probably had something to do with the variety of aubergine and perhaps even my oven in Zurich.
Interestingly, the buttermilk sold in Zurich is much more liquid than what I had used previously in the US. So the sauce was much runnier, which I had tried to thicken by using more Greek yoghurt. And thankfully, I was able to find za’atar in Zurich so there was more flavour to the dish this time.
Overall, the aubergines still tasted great but I would roast them for a bit longer next time. They definitely did well as part of a barbeque dinner.