Spicy Eggplants with Lemon Roast Olives

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Preparation info

  • Serves


    as a starter
    • Difficulty


Appears in

A World in My Kitchen

A World in My Kitchen

By Peter Gordon

Published 2003

  • About

Serve this with crisp, toasted pita bread and hummus for a superb starter. Eggplants also team well with roasted red meat and the olives are good in a mixed salad.


  • 1 cup large green olives, stone in
  • 1 lemon, halved and finely sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 125 ml(4 ¼ fl oz) olive oil
  • 500 ml(16 fl oz) hot water
  • 2 large eggplants, cut in 1 cm(½ in) discs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar


Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 5. Put olives, lemon, garlic, fennel seeds and half the oil into a roasting dish just large enough to hold them and add 500 ml(16 fl oz) hot water. Roast 35 minutes until olive skins are beginning to shrivel and most of the water has evaporated. Stir every 10 minutes during this stage.

Brush remaining oil onto both sides of eggplants and lay the slices in a baking tray. Mix all other ingredients together and sprinkle over the slices. Cook for 20 minutes, then test. They are cooked when a knife goes through easily. Leave to cool a little before removing from tray. To serve, simply place a few pieces of eggplant on a plate and scatter on some olives. You can also sprinkle on generous amounts of chopped, fresh parsley, coriander and mint to give it a fresh taste.