While the rhythms of our social life signal fall, the Farmer's markets and backyard gardens alike are still sending off summery signals, and one of them is a bounty of eggplant.
I came late to the eggplant game, having decided at some point in childhood or early adulthood that I didn't like it. It was only after being invited to a dinner party at the home of a vegetarian of Iraqi descent did I realize that I liked eggplant. A lot. At least, I liked eggplant the way he made it.
This recipe is a little bit inspired by my friend Amos and a little bit inspired by the flavors of the great vegetarian chef, Yotam Ottolenghi. It's total Mediterranean diet fare, and perfect for this time of year, when eggplants are abundantly available and pomegranates are just starting to show up in the supermarket.
This recipe is naturally gluten-free, dairy-free/vegan and can be easily adjusted to be low FODMAP as described in the directions below,
Roasted Eggplant with Tahini and Pomegranate
- 1 medium/large eggplant
- Olive oil
- 1/4 cup tahini paste
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 TBSP lemon juice
- 1 medium garlic clove, minced or crushed (omit to make the recipe low FODMAP)
- Hot water
- Garnishes (optional but highly recommended): cilantro, parsley, fresh mint leaves and/or pomegranate seeds***
- Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees farenheit and line 2 large baking trays with parchment paper
- Prep eggplant for roasting as follows:
- Peel if you dislike the skin (or find it difficult to tolerate digestively). Otherwise, leave the skin on.
- Cut eggplant into 1" cubes
- Arrange eggplant cubes on a paper towel lined plate (choose dye-free paper towels), sprinkle lightly with kosher salt, and microwave on high for about 5-8 minutes or until cubes are shriveled to about half their original size. (This will help reduce the eggplant's absorptive capacity so it doesn't sop up all the roasting oil and get greasy.)
- Remove the shriveled eggplant from microwave and transfer them to the parchment lined baking trays. Drizzle enough olive oil on each tray to coat the cubes lightly and toss gently with your hands to disperse the oil evenly.
- Roast eggplant in the oven for 14-18 minutes, or until cubes are soft and some have begun to caramelize. (Toss the pieces after 7-8 minutes to help ensure even browning.)
- Meanwhile, while the eggplant is roasting, prepare the tahini sauce as follows:
- Combine tahini paste in a small bowl with the lemon juice, cumin, salt and garlic*** Stir all ingredients to combine.
- Start adding hot water 1 TBSP at a time, mixing as you go, to thin the the tahini mixture into a drizzly sauce.
- Drizzle tahini sauce on roasted eggplant cubes, top with garnishes and serve.
***Note: To make low FODMAP, omit the garlic. You can replace it with 1 TBSP garlic infused olive oil for the flavor without the FODMAPs if you wish. Up to 1/4 cup of pomegranate seeds is considered a low FODMAP serving.