For 4 portions
2 eggplants, medium size
salt and pepper
zaatar (mixture of toasted sesame, thyme, oregano and salt)
1 clove of garlic cut into 4 pieces
¼ cup of tahini
a clove of garlic to smear over the bowl
zest and juice of one lemon
2-3 tbs olive oil
salt and pepper
pomegranate molasses (optional)
fresh lemon thyme
Rustic, yet so refined. This roasted eggplant from Yotam Ottolenghi Plenty cookbook is one of the most beautiful eggplant preparations ever. Just a few humble ingredients and result totally unexpected. While roasting the eggplant acquires smokey and nutty aroma. Lemon thyme and zaatar add some freshnes. Originally the eggplant is served with buttermilk and yogurt sauce but I made the all vegan dish with tahini and lemon sauce. The dish is colorful, with fresh herbs and pomegranate arils lending bursts of color.
Cut the eggplants in half lengthways. With a shatp paring knife cut the flesh of each half on diagonal in three to four slashes, be careful not to cut the skin. Place the eggplants cut size up on the baking tray, pour a good amount of olive oil over each half. Season the eggplants with salt and pepper and sprinkle with zaatar. Place a piece of garlic clove over each half and roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. While the eggplants are roasting mix the tahini with lemon juice and zest, season with salt and pepper. Add whole clove of garlic and olive oil and let stand for the flavors to mingle. Remove the pomegranate arils.
Once the eggplant is out ove the oven, place them on a plater, drizzle with pomegranate molasses, cover with tahini sauce, scatter some pomegranate arils and drizzle everything with olive oil. Sprinkle some thyme leaves all over. Last but not least add some sesame seeds and cilantro leaves.
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