This is a really satisfying meat-free meal: Ottolenghi’s famous recipe with an italian twist. In the original recipe the top of the eggplants are garnished with pomegranate seeds. If you can’t find the fresh pomegranate (especially in summer) you can add a touch of red by tossing some chopped cherry tomatoes (like I did). They look good and they taste good! Both ways the dish is irresistible for your palate as well as for your eyes.
photos by coco zordan
An easy recipe perfect for a light fresh dinner in the hot summer months. The ingredients are fully Mediterranean: eggplants, yogurt, herbs, and pomegranate. If using tomatoes I’d suggest to add some leaves of the Greek Bush Basil (small-leaf basil) as an alternative to the za’atar.
Ottolenghi's delicious variation with chopped cherry tomatoes. An easy recipe perfect for a light fresh dinner in the hot summer months. The ingredients are fully Mediterranean: eggplants, yogurt, herbs, and pomegranate. If you can't find the fresh pomegranate (especially in summer) you can add a touch of red by tossing some chopped cherry tomatoes. If using tomatoes I prefer to add some leaves of Greek Bush Basil (small-leaf basil) or some chopped regular basil as an alternative to the za'atar.
- 2 large eggplants -
- XVOO - 1/3 cup
- (lemon) thyme leaves - 1 1/2 tsp
- sea salt and black pepper -
- pomegranate or - 1/2
- chopped cherry tomatoes - 2 cups
- za'atar - 1 tsp
- buttermilk - 10 tbs buttermilk
- greek yogurt - 1/2 cup
- XVOO - 2 tbs
- garlic clove crushed - 1 small (or half)
- salt - 1 pinch
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the eggplants in half lengthways, cutting straight through the green stalk (the stalk is for the look; don't eat it). Use a small sharp knife to make three or four parallel incisions in the cut side of each eggplant half, without cutting through to the skin. Repeat at a 45-degree angle to get a diamond-shaped pattern.
- Place the eggplant halves, cut-side up, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush them with olive oil—keep on brushing until all of the oil has been absorbed by the flesh. Sprinkle with the lemon thyme leaves and some salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes (or longer in case of big eggplants), until the flesh becomes soft, flavorful, and nicely browned. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
To make the sauce, whisk together all of the ingredients. Taste for seasoning, then keep cold until needed.To serve, spoon plenty of buttermilk sauce over the eggplant halves without covering the stalks. Sprinkle za'atar and plenty of chopped tomatoes (or pomegranate seeds) on top and garnish with lemon thyme. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil. enjoy these delicious Roasted Eggplants with Yogurt, Tomatoes and Herbs!