For a smokey, sweet starter perfect for a barbecue party, try Philippa Davis' grilled aubergine, peach, whipped feta and mint pittas

For a smokey, sweet starter for your summer barbecue party, serve Philippa Davis’ grilled aubergine, peach, whipped feta and mint pittas. Simple to make on the barbecue, as the heatwave presses on this starter is perfect for an al fresco feast.

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This makes a great starter or nibble for a barbecue party. The sweetness of the peach balances well with the smoky flavours produced from the grill and the fruit’s juiciness makes a lovely addition to the dressing.

The whipped feta adds a smooth creaminess to this dish but also works brilliantly on its own as a dip for crudités and bread.

Serves 4 as a starter

  • 1 aubergine
  • 1½ tsp fine sea salt
  • ½ clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 leaves mint, finely shredded
  • ½ red chilli, finely sliced (keep some of the seeds in if you like spicier food)
  • 2 peaches, sliced into quarters

Whipped feta

  • 100g feta
  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 2 tsp sumac
  • 1 dsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 small pitta breads

Using an electric whisk, mix together the feta, yogurt, 1 teaspoon of sumac and the olive oil, until well combined.

Stripe the aubergine’s skin with a peeler lengthways then cut into 1½cm-thick circles.

Toss with the fine sea salt and leave to drain in a colander for 10 minutes.

In a bowl, mix the crushed garlic with the lemon zest and juice, the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, half the mint and the chilli.

When your barbecue is hot, grill the sliced aubergine and peaches on all sides then toss in the chilli dressing.

Leave to marinate for at least 10 minutes.

To serve, lightly grill the pitta breads on both sides then smear with the whipped feta.

Pile the peaches and aubergines on top and drizzle over any juice, scatter on the remaining mint and sumac.