Having gotten so many eggplants from the CSA this year I wanted to be more adventurous with what I made with the eggplants as the season progressed. So I turned to Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook Plenty where I found an intriguing recipe. A bit pretentious of me perhaps, I adapted it to meet my dietary needs and improvise hard to find ingredients.  I was especially anxious to try burning the eggplants over flames on my stovetop.

Eggplant burning 2

After lining my burners with the recommended tinfoil  I turned on the heat and began roasting the eggplants. I kept adjusting the flame and finally settled on a medium-low flame, perhaps I should have used a higher flame. It was slow going and took a lot longer than the 12 -15 minutes he stated in the recipe. After  30 minutes the eggplants were burnt on the outside but the flesh wasn’t that soft so I decided to put it in a 400 degree oven for another 30 minutes.

Burnt eggplant

Removing the charred outer skin was another challenge. I picked off as much as possible and placed it in a colainder to drain. After speaking to a friend he mentioned squirting lemon juice over the eggplant so it doesn’t discolor. A good suggesting I will do the next time I make the dish. From that point on the recipe was easy to follow. Although instead of using water in the recipe I just used pomegranate concentrate with the addition of Stevia instead of pomegranate molasses.

Charred Eggplant with Tahini, Pomegranate and Cucumber
 
Recipe type: Appetizer, Side Dish
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 2 medium to large eggplants
  • ½ cup tahini
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate concentrate
  • 8 drops of stevia
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 large clove of garlic minced
  • ¼ cup parsley chopped
  • 1 persian cucumber quartered, seeded and chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • seeds of ½ a pomegranate
Instructions
  1. Protect your gas burners by lining them with tinfoil.
  2. Place eggplants on separate burners over a medium flame and cook until burnt all over. You will need to turn them with metal tongs in order to burn all sides.
  3. Let cool until you can handle them. Peel off burnt skin or scoop out eggplant into a colander and let drain for 30 minutes.
  4. Chop the eggplant into bite size chunks and place in mixing bowl. Add tahini, pomegranate concentrate, stevia, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, cucumber and salt and pepper. Mix together.
  5. Transfer to a shallow serving dish and scatter with pomegranate seeds.