Hey friends, I’ve missed you. I hope life is treating you very well.
I come bearing eggplant, in its finest glory.
Roasted until blistery, velvety and practically a dip unto itself, with a confetti of showy toppings.
You don’t even need to agree with eggplant as a vegetable to enjoy this dish. It’s just a wonderful excuse to make a garlic soaked tahini sauce, and chickpeas charred with golden spices.
This dish will always remind me of the day that surrounded it, and the people who ate it.
I was having a particularly bad stretch of time inside my head, it was the day after Anthony Bourdain died. My plan for the evening was to drink a glass of pinot grigio and sulk over Netflix.
Almost knowingly, my good friend called out of the blue and asked if I wanted to come over and share some barbecue. My instinct was to decline, I was “busy” after all.
But instead, I brushed my teeth and packed up the eggplant I had anxiously cooked minutes before.
We laughed. Drizzled extra tahini. Drank pinot grigio on plastic chairs in the grass. Forgot about the stories our brains were telling us.
Hoping you get a chance to make someone happy with this charred eggplant and all the trimmings.
- 4 baby eggplants, cut in half
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- salt and pepper
- 1 540 ml can of chickpeas
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup yogurt
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- juice from 1/2 a lemon
- 2 tbsp water, to thin
- salt and lemon
- Preheat the oven to 450 F. Drizzle the cut sides of the eggplant with oil and rub the smoked paprika. Season well with salt and pepper. Place cut sides down on a baking sheet. Roast for 30-50 min, depending on the size of you eggplant. They are ready when the skin is very dark, soft and shriveled. Definitly dont want to undercook here.
- While the eggplant roasts, drain and add the chickpeas to a large bowl. Add all of the spices, 1 tbsp of oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Arrange on a prepared baking sheet. Roast for 2-25 min, until crispy and browned in spots.
- While everything is baking, add the yogurt-tahini dressing ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk well until it is creamy and consistent. Taste and add more salt or lemon as needed.
- Serve the eggplant, skin sides up, with the roasted chickpeas spooned over. Sprinkle the pomegranate, roughly chopped mint, za'atar and tahini.