Charred Eggplant with Tahini, Pomegranate and Cucumber
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- Protect your gas burners by lining them with tinfoil.
- 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.
- Let cool until you can handle them. Peel off burnt skin or scoop out eggplant into a colander and let drain for 30 minutes.
- 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.
- Transfer to a shallow serving dish and scatter with pomegranate seeds.