Eggplant with Tahina and an Eggplant Blog Hop


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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.

Eggplant with Tahina and Pomegranate Seeds

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
 
Prep Time

Cook Time

Total Time

 

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





70 Comments

  1. This looks delicious. I love these ingredients,. I looked for your hop yesterday and thought you mustn’t be doing it this week. Sadly I have no eggplant recipes done

    • Thanks Tania! Yes, I was late! Bah. Too bad you don’t have any eggplant recipes to share – there’s always next week!

  2. 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!!!

    • Thanks Manu!! I love eggplant too – it’s so versatile and just about as popular in Italian cooking as Middle Eastern.

  3. Katherine,
    Again, you got me with your fabulous fabulous photo. Love the combination and will try making it for a Passover appetizer for our Middle Eastern family to dig into.

    • Aw, thanks Judee!! It’s a wonderful combo and I’m sure your Middle Eastern family will love it! I hope they do :-D

  4. Your dish is beautiful! I love eggplant. Grumpy-not so much..

  5. Gorgeous dish, Katherine! I had a similar dish last summer…the pomegranate is such a lovely addition~

  6. I love that saying…and I admit, if I was in the Middle East, I wouldn’t have been “ready” to marry ;) 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.

    • Haha me neither! And I also don’t cook enough eggplant. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe – people are loving it on Pinterest!

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

    • 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.

  9. Love eggplants and I might be ready to marry if cooking eggplants is all that is required ;)
    Beautiful dish! I’ll have to bookmark it and try it in the summer!

  10. Katherine your recipe is absolutely amazing. I would have never thought to pair pom seeds with it but it’s genius. The photos are incredible.

  11. Now this is definitely something I’ve never seen before! What a unique and delicious recipe! And it’s SO simple! Thanks for sharing!

  12. 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… :(
    I’ll have to get on that!

    • Thanks Willow! Yes, if you like baba ganoush then you’ll love this. The pomegranates make it even better!

  13. 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!

    • Thank you Ann! I always liked eggplant parmesan but discovered to love it on its own as an adult. Thanks for linking up!

  14. 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!

    • Hahaha yeah, I can see it getting that response ;-) Thanks Jeff! Hope you enjoy it, even if your fiancé doesn’t!

  15. This looks like a wonderful eggplant dish. I love that you used pomegranate with them! Very eye catching picture too. Hope you are enjoying the weekend!

  16. What a gorgeous eggplant dish….
    Pomegranate is my favorite, I love how you used them here…Beautiful!!!

    B/W I enjoyed the saying…LOL

  17. 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.

  18. Wow that not just a pleasure for my tastebuds it is also an eye candy! Look at that colours.

  19. Love the pomegranate seeds on top! It has the same effect as ikura on Japanese dish. Just simply beautiful. I love eggplant so much. I can eat it everyday without getting tired! Beautiful dish Katherine!

  20. 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!

  21. This looks really gorgeous! Love the pomegranate seeds garnish.

  22. What a gorgeous looking dish! – I love the pomegranate seeds. It’s a little bit like baba ganoush deconstructed!

  23. Katherine, your recipe is just beautiful! Pomegranate seeds really are like jewels, aren’t they! I am excited to join your blog hop!

  24. Incidentally, love your eggplant blog hop idea! Your friends might like to pop into Celia’s blog at Fig, Jam and Lime Cordial. Celia has a wonderful post right now on freezing chargrilled eggplant! http://figjamandlimecordial.com/2012/03/11/freezing-eggplant/

  25. This is just pretty as a picture, in fact it looks like it could be framed and hung on a wall! Sounds quite yummy too, love all these ingredients!

  26. Funny saying..hm! I think I knew how to make eggplant probably 3 ways before I got married:))) Great combination and very unique! Love the pics!!! Have a lovely week ahead sweetheart!!xo

  27. 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!

    • Me too Shulie! As usual, the simplest recipes are so often the best! Glad to give you a a little taste of home ;-)

  28. Look at the confetti-like topping! Eggplant never looked so glam.

  29. I love egg plant! Great recipe. And the pomegranate seeds must add such a nice zip to the dish (in addition to looking great – so pretty!). Thanks for this.

  30. Beautiful dish! Reminds me of the Mexican chiles en nogadas.

  31. 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 :) Eggplant with tahini sounds interesting combination, will try this for him soon. p/s: i’ve added one eggplant recipe to your bloghop.

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

  32. 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!

    • Aw thanks Amanda! Pomegranate molasses would be am incredible addition here – so smart! That stuff is like gold.

  33. Do you know hünkar begendi? It’s a Turkish dish that features a sauce where the eggplant is “hidden” in the sauce, and it is TO DIE FOR. This sounds wonderful! I love aubergine!

    • I don’t know that dish – but I’m going to Istanbul in a few weeks so I hope to have it there! Thanks Sophie :-D

  34. I love eggplants, I love tahina.. what am I waiting for?!

  35. Hi Katherine, First time on your blog gal.. This eggplant is really making me drool over.. and wat a lovely blog hop.

    happy to follow u :)

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