Roasted Eggplant w/ Tahini, Quinoa and Pomegranate

I brought home a bit of Israel to my Sydney kitchen... well the Tahini at least!

With a kilo of Tahini from Tel Aviv, I couldn't wait to start cooking at home. Admittedly it wasn't the base of this dish, but roasted eggplants without Tahini is bland AF. Like sticky date pudding without caramel sauce, depressing. Anyways here's the recipe, enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • Baby Eggplants (I used 6)
  • Tahini (a few tablespoons to your discretion)
  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 1 bunch Parsley
  • 2 Lemons
  • 1 Pomegranate 
  • Garlic, Paprika, Cumin, Salt and Pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat oven at 180 deg
  2.  Grab a fork and pierce holes all around the eggplants (otherwise you'll have an eggplant bomb shit storm!)
  3. Roast eggplants for 40 minutes 
  4. Meanwhile cook the quinoa, should take no longer then 15 mins.  Throw garlic in the pan first, add quinoa & water (1 quinoa cup = 2 cups water) and paprika. In last 5 minutes add in the chopped parsley. 
  5. Take out the eggplants and cut them in half. Dust with cumin & let it sit for 10 minutes. 
 Top row: Roasted whole in the oven = soft and juicy...............Bottom row: Halved before oven = a little dry and crispier

Top row: Roasted whole in the oven = soft and juicy...............Bottom row: Halved before oven = a little dry and crispier

6. Tahini: Mix two tablespoons, lemon, water and olive oil in a bowl. Add in paprika, salt and pepper to your taste. 

7. Press the quinoa inside each eggplant slice.

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8. Drizzle with Tahini, lemon and top with pomegranates.

I'm not going to lie, these babies took a whopping 1.5 hrs. The same time it takes to get from Tel Aviv to Istanbul! Regardless, these kosher babies are now a staple of mine.  A crowdpleaser to all tastebuds and diets (ie. vegetarian, vegan, paleo or kosher), these pretty eggplant thanggsss are sure to be a hit at your next dinner. Just don't forget the Tahini... whether its from Israel or Woolworths!

 

Other notes:

  • The difference between halving the eggplant, or roasting it whole, depends on what taste you're after. If you roast it whole and then half it, you're eggplants are softer and juicer. If you half it before the oven, its a little drier and crispier. I did both and now prefer to roast it whole. 
  • Olive oil and lemon will be your best friend. Oil when you're roasting, and lemon when you're eating. 
  • Great appetiser with red wine... then again I could drink red wine with almost anything.