Eggplant with Tahina and an Eggplant Blog Hop

Eggplant with Tahina and Pomegranate Seeds

In the Middle East there’s a saying that a woman is not ready to wed until she can cook an eggplant (i.e. aubergine) 1,000 ways. Before you start huffing and puffing about the gendered implications of this adage, I think the New York Times explained it well: “The saying is less about preparing women for marriage, though, than it is about the amazing versatility of the eggplant.” Indeed, living in Israel my appreciation for these humble, purple-skinned vegetables has skyrocketed. On a single dinner table they can appear in countless forms. Usually it begins with flame roasted eggplants, but after that they can be pureed with tahina for baba ghanouj, mayo for an entirely different dip, or lemon juice and olive oil for eggplant “caviar.” Israelis make a convincing vegetarian chopped liver (devised in the 1940s when times were tough and meat was rare) using fried eggplant and hard boiled eggs.

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And then there’s this dish. In the repertoire of anyone who has ever visited Israel I’m sure, it’s simple and delicious. Broiled or flame roasted eggplant is topped with rich, nutty tahina, sweet-tart pomegranate seeds, and herbs. Beyond its simplicity, one of the many things that’s brilliant about it is the fact that nearly everyone who wishes (barring an eggplant or nut allergy) can eat it. This dish is vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, and parve. It can make a light supper or superb side.

5.0 from 7 reviews
Eggplant with Tahina and Pomegranate Seeds
 
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This simple, flavorful dish is a mainstay of Israeli and Middle Eastern cuisine. It makes a wonderful light supper with a side salad, or a crowd-pleasing side.
Author:
Recipe Type: Side
Yield: 4 side servings
Ingredients
  • 1 eggplant
  • ¼ cup best quality tahina
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley, divided
  • 1 tablespoon water, plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
Directions
  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Put the eggplant on a baking sheet and broil, turning occasionally, until softened and slightly charred. (Alternately, do this over the open flame of your gas stove.)
  3. Remove from the oven. Carefully hold the eggplant over a bowl and cut a slit in the bottom to release the liquid. Allow to drain for a few minutes in the bowl.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk together the tahina, 2 tablespoons of parsley, water, and lemon juice in a small bowl. The tahina may seize up slightly. Continue adding water 1 tablespoon at a time until it is a smooth, pourable consistency.
  5. Cut the eggplant in half and score the flesh (not skin) with a knife. Put on a plate or serving platter skin side down.
  6. Drizzle with the tahina mixture and sprinkle the pomegranate seeds and remaining tablespoon of chopped parsley over. Serve immediately.
Notes
Gluten free, Parve, Vegan, Vegetarian




74 thoughts on “Eggplant with Tahina and an Eggplant Blog Hop

  1. Manu

    Yum!!! What a great recipe! Eggplant are my favourite summer vegetable… and eat tons of them! hehehe I will have to try these one out… love tahini!!!

  2. Heather @girlichef

    I love that saying…and I admit, if I was in the Middle East, I wouldn’t have been “ready” to marry πŸ˜‰ I definitely don’t use eggplant enough, although I do like it. This dish sounds SO wonderful, plus it’s so pretty to look at! I can’t wait to get acquainted with more eggplant recipes today. I shared a simple Ratatouille Omelet.

  3. Dorothy at Shockinglydelicious

    I love eggplant, but just from looking for a contribution to your Blog Hop, it is clear I don’t have enough of them on my site!

    I did an interview with Meryl Streep’s onetime personal chef, who created a wonderful eggplant millet souffle for Meryl’s family and their vegetarian friends, so that’s what I’m sharing today.

    Thank you!

  4. Suzi

    This is fantastic Katherine, wonderful ingredients and beautiful colors. It actually looks as though there is melted cheese on it but I see that it is vegan. BTW is tahina sesame seed paste? Have a wonderful weekend.

    • Katherine

      Thank you Suzi! I know, the tahina kind of looks like cheese in the photo but it is in fact sesame seed pasta and so is vegan! But it’s wonderfully thick and creamy.

  5. PolaM

    Love eggplants and I might be ready to marry if cooking eggplants is all that is required πŸ˜‰
    Beautiful dish! I’ll have to bookmark it and try it in the summer!

  6. Willow

    Yum! I love a good baba ganoush, so this sounds great. Especially with the pomegranate – great idea!
    I’m sad to say I don’t have any eggplant recipes to share… πŸ™
    I’ll have to get on that!

  7. Ann

    Your Eggplant with Tahina looks absolutely amazing! As an adult, I developed an appreciate for eggplant. Now I adore it! Thanks for sharing and for another GREAT bloghop!

  8. Jeff

    When I shared these thoughts with the fiance, I got a big eye roll… But she doesn’t love eggplant as much as I do! I’ll definitely be giving this one a try one day! Beautiful photos!

  9. Hotly Spiced

    Yes, eggplants are so versatile. So versatile I don’t know why I don’t cook with them more often. What a pretty looking dish. I love the use of the pomegranate seeds – they add so much colour and flavour I’m sure. And what a wonderful vegetarian meal.

  10. Joanne

    I always tend to think the pairing of pomegranate and tahini is just so perfect! The eggplant is one of my favorite veggies to cook with because of its versatility. Love this!

  11. foodwanderings

    Aww Katherine, this is one of my favorite ways having eggplant and 1,0000 other ways, lol. Isn;t it the simplest preparation but what a delicious and beautiful presentation. Always gets me when friends, family & restaurants make it in Israel & now you too!

  12. Shannon | JustAsDelish

    I love eggplant but always using just 2-3 recipes, so happy to see this eggplant bloghop. My fiance love eggplant too but he never told me about the eggplant saying.. seems I have to learnt more recipes πŸ™‚ Eggplant with tahini sounds interesting combination, will try this for him soon. p/s: i’ve added one eggplant recipe to your bloghop.

    • Katherine

      Thank you Shannon! I had never heard that saying before moving here either – luckily I was already married! πŸ˜‰ Thanks so much for linking up – that dish looks amazing!

  13. Amanda

    What a gorgeous photo, with the pomegranate sitting like jewels on top. I am completely sold on this dish, although I might just be tempted to add a drizzle or two of pomegranate molasses – love that stuff!

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