aubergine and pomegranate tapenade

pomegranate tapenade on top of roasted aubergine garnished with pomegranate seeds and pine nuts

A slice of roasted aubergine and pomegranate tapenade is hardly cooking, but if you’re after a quick dish with bags of flavour, read on. Zejd pomegranate tapenade on a piece of sourdough, with a handful of Zejd souri green cracked olives, is a winningly simple combination. But what if you roasted thick slices of aubergine in an oven until they were meltingly golden brown, and used them instead of the sourdough?

Toast has more structure for tapenade spreading, and is obviously quicker, so with a few crisp green salad leaves this is fast food without compromising on the nutrition. There aren’t any hidden additives in Zejd’s pomegranate tapenade, masquerading as flavour. Made of stellar Lebanese ingredients, the tapenade just happens to be vegan too. Without anchovies, the Zejd souri black olives, capers and Zejd pomegranate molasses are high in umami compounds. This burst of flavour is balanced with thyme, rosemary, garlic, extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar for a touch of acidity. With so much going on, a roasted slice of aubergine is a perfect platform for these Lebanese flavours. 

Generously coated in Zejd extra virgin olive oil, the slices of aubergine should only take around 30 minutes in the oven to reach a golden state. We found that spreading the pomegranate tapenade on when warm was easier than when they were cold. For a finishing touch, fry some pine nuts in extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle on some pomegranate seeds for crunch and sharpness. A touch of sumac is also a lovely citrusy touch to scatter on before serving. This would make a wonderful centrepiece as part of a selection of mezze dishes for a summer feast. 

enough for 4 or 8 as a starter


2 aubergines, sliced lengthways, 1.5 cm thick
3 tbsp Zejd extra virgin olive oilfor brushing on the aubergine
50g Zejd pomegranate tapenade
pomegranate seeds, a handful
30g pine nuts, or walnuts (optional)
Zejd sumac (optional)


  1. Set the oven to 190 degrees/fan 170 degrees/Gas 5.
  2. Brush both sides of the aubergine slices with the extra virgin olive oil. Lay them on 2 baking sheets lined with baking paper. Scatter some sea salt on each slice.
  3. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until soft and golden brown, but not crispy. 
  4. Remove from the oven, leave to cool a little and spread a teaspoon of Zejd’s pomegranate tapenade on each slice, not too thickly. 
  5. Meanwhile, gently fry the pine nuts (or walnuts) in a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil until lightly coloured.  Scatter them on each slice of aubergine and dot with the pomegranate seeds.

To serve, transfer each slice on to a plate and scatter with sumac, if using. Serve alongside some good bread, Zejd souri olives.

As a starter, this can be kept warm in the residual heat of an oven and then topped with nuts and pomegranate seeds just before serving. Add a few rocket leaves or some watercress for a bit of freshness. 

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