Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Roasted Eggplant with Buttermilk

This is a completely heavenly recipe from "Plenty."  (Actually, it's the cover recipe!)  I made it as soon as I got home from Turkey a few weeks ago, because I realized while I was there that I've been cooking eggplant wrong forever (basically, by doing anything other than baking it until it falls out of its skin), and this recipe seemed like it would fix that.   Oh man: it did.

Just to assuage my guilt about reposting other people's recipes, let me tell you that esp if you are a vegetarian, you need to buy this cookbook!  This particular recipe, for example, includes a miraculous method for de-seeding pomegranates that I'm not going to spill here.

Here's what I will tell you, though.  This is one beautiful set of flavors, and it was barely any work.  Also, this is how you cook an eggplant, regardless of what you top it with.


2 large eggplants
1/3 cup olive oil
1.5 tsp lemon thyme (I used a mix of thyme and lemon verbena)
1 pomegranate, seeded
1 tsp za'atar (make your own like this)

For sauce:
9 TB buttermilk
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1.5 TB olive oil
1 small garlic clove, crushed
pinch of salt

1.  Preheat oven to 400 and prepare eggplants:  Cut in half lengthwise, leaving stem on.  Lay on baking sheet, cut sides up.  Then, "score" the flesh of each eggplant deeply with a knife, both from side-to-side and diagonally, being careful not to cut through the skin.  Finally, brush with olive oil.  Keep brushing until the flesh of the 4 halves has soaked up the entire 1/3 cup.  Sprinkle with lemon thyme, salt, and pepper.  Roast for 35-40 minutes or until soft and browned.

2.  To make the sauce, just whisk everything together.  To serve the eggplants, pour some buttermilk sauce over each half, and top with pomegranate seeds, za'aatar, and a drizzle of olive oil.  

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