Summary: This is a marvelous dish from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty. Prep time is about 25 minutes; cook time 25-60, depending on method used to burn eggplant. Serves 4-6 as an app or side.
- 1 large eggplant (or the equivalent of)
- 1/3 c tahini paste
- 1/4 c water
- 2 tsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 T fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- salt and pepper
- seeds from 1/2 large pomegranate (if in season)
- 1 mini cucumbers (6-7 oz total), optional
- 3/4 c chopped tomatoes, optional
- extra virgin olive oil
- Burn the eggplant by placing directly on your burners (if you have a gas stove). Line the bottom of the stovetop first (foil around the burners) to make cleanup easy. Over a moderate fire, roast the eggplant(s) for 12-15 minutes, turning frequently, until flesh is soft and smoky and the skin is burned all over. Don’t let it catch fire. If you have an electric stove, pierce the eggplant with a sharp knife in a few places. Put it on a foil-lined try and place directly under a hot broiler for 1 hour, turning it a few times. The eggplant should deflate, and its skin should burn and break.
- When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh into a colander, tossing out the blackened skin, and let drain for at least 30 minutes.
- Chop the eggplant flesh roughly and put in a medium mixing bowl. Add the tahini, water, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, garlic, parsley and some s&p. Mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning. I find this often needs more garlic, salt, pom molasses and/or lemon juice. You want it to have a robust sour/slightly sweet flavor.
- If you want to add diced cucumbers and chopped tomatoes, stir them in.
- To serve, drizzle a bit of EVOO on top, maybe some more molasses and if you have pom seeds, sprinkle them on as well. Great with pita, feta, Moroccan carrot salad and so forth!