Roasted eggplants with tahini- yoghurt dip and pomegranate seeds

Eggplant is very well liked in Mediterranean regions and it is often considered as’the king of the vegatables’, because of its versatily and great abilty to absorb the flavours that are added to it. Sadly, the vegatable is not half as popular in the US and Europa, probaly because many people dont’t  know how to prepare it. And when it is not cooked right, eggplant indeed doesn’t taste very nice. The most common complaints are that they are too tough, bitter and watery, but often, this can easily be resolved by salting the eggplant before cooking it. If you are one of those eggplant haters, let me convince you with this recipe! I think you are highly missing out on a very healthy, tasty and versatile food.

Eggplant.1Ingredients:

  • 2 eggplants*
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic gloves, crushed
  • fresh parsley, chopped in small piecs (leave some for decoration)
  • 1/2 cup pinenuts
  • 1/2 cup pomegranates

* Pick eggplants with a taut, slighly resistant skin and avoid ones with a very soft or rock hard skin. In general, smaller eggplants are more sweet.

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (180°C) and wash the eggplants carefully.
  2. Cut the eggplants lenghtwise into slices about 1/2 inch thick.
  3. This step is very important: place the slices in a colonder in the sink and salt liberally on both sides. Not only will this help to drain off some of the bitter juices inside the eggplant, it also makes it less spongy.
  4. Leave the slices for at least 1 hour to make sure they are completely drained.
  5. Rinse the salted eggplant slices very well. Use a paper towel to pat them dry.
  6. Place on a baking sheet and spray with olive oil.
  7. Roast for about 30 minutes in the oven, turn them over after 15 minutes. It is important to keep en eye on them, because the exact time also depends on your type of oven.
  8. In the meanwhile, make the dip by combining the yoghurt, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, 2 garlic gloves and fresh parsley in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. In a non- stick pan, toast the pinenuts for about 2 minute. Shake the pan every 30 minutes and toss them.
  10. To serve, spoon plenty of the sauce over the eggplant slices, sprinkle with pomagrante seeds, pinenuts and garnish with fresh parsley. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.

Eggplant.2The roasted, soft, buttery and slighly browned eggplant ends up so silky against the creamy yoghurt, fresh herbs and tangy pomegranate seeds, it’s such a mouthwatering combination. I am sure the eggplant haters will change their opion after they have tasted it!

This dish is perfect as a lunch with some (pita) bread or can be used as a starter.

Lots of love,

Leila

– Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go-

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