- 1 large summer squash
- 50-80ml extra virgin olive oil
- Irish Atlantic sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon, optional
- 1 tin cooked chickpeas, drained
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted and coarsely ground
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted and coarsely ground
- 1 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
- 1-2 lemons, juice only
- 1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, lightly toasted and ground finely
- 8 free-range eggs, poached or hard boiled
- 200-250g salad leaves
- 2 red onions, peeled and finely sliced
- 250g mixed soft herbs such as parsley, coriander and lovage, roughly chopped
For the aubergine yogurt dressing:
- 2 aubergines
- 400ml yoghurt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1⁄2 lemon, juice only
- 50ml olive
- For the dressing, first prepare the aubergine. If you have a gas hob, take the aubergine and lay directly over a gas flame and leave to ‘burn’ for several minutes on each side. Alternatively, if you have a grill, place under the maximum setting, turning once each side is well burnt. The objective is to get the skin very charred whilst at the same time cooking the inside of the vegetable. Be brave – the aubergine is done when the outside is very black and charred and the vegetable is extremely soft, all of the way through – a little pulp/juice may seep out but don’t worry. Put in a bowl to one side to cool.
- To finish the dressing, take the cooled aubergines, cut in half from top to tail (this is the messy bit) then take a spoon and scoop the flesh out into a bowl. This should be lovely and soft. A little bit of the charred skin might make it into the bowl – this will add to the nice smoky flavour but try to avoid too much of this getting in. Mash well with a fork. Fold in the yogurt, minced garlic, juice of half a lemon and about 50ml of olive oil. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more oil, yogurt, lemon or garlic if needed.
- Next, preheat your oven to 200C/gas mark 6.
- While the oven is heating, prepare the squash by scrubbing the outside of it well under cold running water and then trimming the top and tail, cutting in half lengthways and scooping out the seeds with a large spoon. Cut into 4cm wedges, leaving the skin on. Place in a roasting tray, tossing in a drizzle of oil and a sprinkle of seasoning and the ground cinnamon if using. We roast and eat this with the skin on – not only is it less work, we feel that it adds a better texture and more nutrition to the dish.
- Pop the squash into the oven to, tossing every 10 minutes - this should take anywhere from 20-40 minutes, depending on when the squash itself is fully cooked through – you will know it’s done if it is tender when pierced with a knife and the edges are caramelised.
- Next, pour enough oil into a roasting tray to just cover its base and put on the next shelf in your oven for four minutes to heat up. Then, while that is heating, toss the drained chickpeas into the roasting tray along with the coarsely ground cumin and coriander seeds, smoked paprika and a good sprinkle of salt and pepper. Toss in the preheated roasting tray with the oil and roast for a total of 20 minutes, tossing halfway through.
- Make the lemon and cumin dressing by whisking the lemon juice into the remaining extra virgin olive oil, with the garlic, finely ground cumin and seasoning. When well mixed, dip a salad leaf into the dressing and taste – adjust any of the ingredients until you are happy with the outcome.
- Present the salad in individual wide flat bowls or plates as follows: toss the leaves in a little of the lemon and cumin dressing and divide amongst each of the bowls. Divide the squash into four quantities and spread across each bowl. Place one or two poached eggs on top of each bowl, adding a large spoon of the smoked aubergine yoghurt on top. Finish by sprinkling the finely sliced onions and freshly chopped herbs over each dish and then a final drizzle of the lemon-cumin dressing.
Put the red onion slices in a bowl and toss in the lemon juice and leave to sit – this will turn the red onion into a lovely bright red colour and give it a delicious tang.