To continue my very clear obsession with all things Yotam Ottolenghi, I’m going to share with you one of the best meals I’ve ever had in my life. This eggplant dishes graces the cover of his book Plenty and is something you should add to your list of things to make as soon as possible.
To be honest, I used to hate eggplant. I thought the texture was rubbery, the taste was terrible and there just weren’t a whole lot of dishes I liked that included eggplant, so I never bothered to learn how to cook it properly. This recipe is worth it though and makes me want to find ways to work eggplant into a little more of my usual dishes.
What you need for the eggplant:
- 2 large, long eggplants (organic preferable since you’ll be eating the skin)
- 1/3 cup olive oil plus 1 T
- 1/2 tsp thyme leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- seeds from half of a pomegranate
- za’atar to taste
- 9 T buttermilk
- 1/2 cup yogurt (you can use regular or Greek)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
What you do:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degree F. Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise and use a knife to cut a diamond-shaped pattern in the flesh of the eggplant, without piercing the skin.
- Place the eggplants on the pan, flesh-side facing up, and brush with the 1/3 cup of olive oil-brush until all of the oil has been absorbed by the olive oil. Sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper and roast for 35-40 minutes, or until the flesh of the eggplant has turned golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- While the eggplants are roasting, combine the buttermilk, yogurt, the remaining 1 T olive oil, the garlic clove and a small amount of salt. Stir to combine and keep chilled until serving.
- To serve the eggplant, spoon the yogurt sauce over the eggplant and sprinkle some of the za’atar and pomegranate seeds on top. If desired, you can finish with a drizzle of olive oil.
I served the eggplant alongside a lentil salad, which I will share in a future post, but I’d love to know if you have any other ideas of what to serve this delicious side with. I was thinking lentil or quinoa cakes or maybe baked fish or something along those lines. I’ll let you know!