No other vegetable gets me more excited than charred eggplant – it’s a feast for the senses and takes me straight back to my childhood. Cooking vegetables whole this way is so often overlooked, but it’s a great technique for coaxing amazing flavour out of ingredients without fuss.

Serves 4

5 eggplants (aubergines)

Sea salt flakes and ground black pepper

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons chilli oil

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

To serve

2/3 cup (185 g) garlicky whipped tahini (see below)

2 tablespoons za’atar

1/3 cup (55 g) pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped

1 cup (175 g) crispy roast chickpeas (see below)

Handful dill sprigs, roughly chopped

Handful mint leaves, roughly chopped

Preheat a barbecue to high and cook the eggplants whole for 15 minutes, turning throughout, until the skins are charred and the eggplants are soft. Alternatively, working in batches, place the whole eggplants over an open gas cooker flame and cook for 10 minutes, turning throughout, until soft. You can also bake them by placing them directly onto the oven racks and cooking at 230°C (450°F) for 20–25 minutes, until soft (though you won’t get the same smoky flavour).

Place the cooked eggplants on a wire rack set over a plate or tray and allow them to drain and cool for a few minutes, then carefully peel off the burnt skin, leaving the eggplants whole and the tops intact, if possible. Carefully transfer them to a serving platter, season with salt and pepper, then drizzle with the olive oil, chilli oil, lemon juice and pomegranate molasses.

To serve, spoon the garlicky whipped tahini over the eggplants and sprinkle with the za’atar. Top with the olives, crispy roast chickpeas and herbs, and dig in.

Garlicky whipped tahini 

This is my everything sauce – I literally spoon it over everything from fish to a tray of roast veggies. It also makes a killer dip and is a great vegan replacement for yoghurt. I love this sauce as it is, but you could add so many other flavours to it like chilli, spices, miso – it really is that versatile.

If your sauce is too runny, just add some more tahini. If you make this by hand, your tahini might look like it has split or it may clump together, but that just means it needs more water and whisking. For a lighter version, make this in a blender.

Makes 1 ¼ cups (350 g)

½ cup (135 g) hulled tahini

Juice of 1 lemon

2 cloves garlic, finely crushed

Sea salt flakes and ground black pepper

Place all the ingredients in a blender with 2/3 cup (170 ml) water and blend into a smooth paste. Adjust the water and lemon juice until you have a silky consistency. Alternatively, combine the ingredients in a bowl with a whisk or fork, whisking in the water slowly until smooth and combined. Transfer to an airtight container or jar and store in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Pro tip

This sauce thickens when stored overnight, so to thin it out again, add lemon juice, water and seasoning as required.

Images and text from More Fish, More Veg by Tom Walton, photography by Rob Palmer. Murdoch Books RRP $39.99.’



Brooke Meredith

Brooke Meredith, is the passionate founder and Editor-In-Chief of A Conscious Collection Magazine. A glowing representation of wellness, and an advocate for healthy living. Brooke’s passion for health and wellbeing began following the discovery of her own intolerances and health ailments. Her house soon became a hub for recreating healthy versions of her favourite recipes, and soon her home was filled with an abundance of nourishing, nutritious whole foods. A certified Health Coach, Brooke’s passion lies with helping others become the best version of themselves and created A Conscious Collection to nurture, empower and inspire. As an Australian model, Brooke lives and breathes wellness, understanding the direct correlation between looking and feeling your best, which comes with a life in balance. When you can pry her away from working on all things ACC, you’ll find her fleeting around the globe on wellness escapes, enjoying three hour brunch dates with girlfriends and diving mouth first in to her famous healthified chocolate brownies.