This gorgeous eggplant dish is the ultimate vegetable side, it’s super simple and a real hit everytime I serve it. The smokey flavours of charred eggplant is perfect with grilled lamb, but this dish is so hearty you could double up the quantities for an amazing plant-based main.
A quick rundown; slices of eggplant roasted to perfection with a wonderful combination of ground cumin, ground coriander, smoked paprika and garlic- let it char slightly for a great smokey flavour. Drizzle with a silky, rich tahini dressing, add a tangy burst of pomegranate seeds and a generous scattering of crispy roasted chickpeas and herbaceous parsley.
I’ve left instructions for salting the eggplant- this step isn’t necessary if you’re short on time, but I love salting eggplant for a couple of hours prior to cooking to remove any excess liquid and bitterness. This will help you get really sweet, creamy eggplant rather than a soppy, bitter mess! Eggplants also sponge up oil really well, so I prefer to brush on the olive oil to get an even coating, instead of drizzling the oil on top, which will lead to un-even absorption and more oil wasted.
This tahini dressing tastes like a dream and you can drizzle it over almost any vegetables or salad; it’s super versatile. Add lemon juice and salt to your taste, and whisk in cold water- make sure its icy cold to help the tahini emulsify, making to the dressing extra creamy. If the dressing gets too thick, add in more water slowly while whisking until your desired consistency is achieved.
Spiced Eggplant with Tahini and Pomegranate
- 4 medium eggplants- washed and sliced lengthways into quarters
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tbsp ground cumin seeds
- ½ tbsp ground coriander seeds
- ½ tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 can chickpeas
- 3 tbsp tahini
- 1 roasted garlic clove
- ½ tbsp lemon juice- freshly squeezed
- 2 tbsp cold water
- 1 handful pomegranate seeds
- 1 handful roughly chopped parsley
- Cut your eggplant into quarters, lengthways. Cover the eggplants generously in salt and set aside on a sieve for 2-3 hours. Drain away any excess salt or moisture, and pat dry with a paper towel
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C
- Brush eggplants with olive oil. Combine the spices and sprinkle over the eggplant. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and lay the spiced eggplants on a roasting tray leaving plenty of space in between each piece.
- Pop these into the oven, and leave to roast for 30 minutes- flipping and rotating the eggplant pieces halfway through. You'll know they're done once they start to collapse and the surface is slightly caramelised
- Drain the chickpeas and set aside to dry. Scatter these on a baking sheet, season with salt and drizzle with olive oil. Add these to the hottest part of the oven to roast in the last 10 minutes of the eggplants roasting- they should turn golden and crispy
- Leave the eggplant and chickpeas to cool- roughly 15 minutes. In the meantime, whisk the tahini dressing ingredients together, whisking in the cold water last. Add cold water until your desired consistency is reached- you may need to add more water if the dressing is too thick.
- Arrange the eggplants on a serving dish and drizzle with the dressing. Scatter with pomegranate seeds and chopped parsley, and serve warm.