Roasted Eggplant with Buttermilk Sauce and Pomegranate

Roasted Eggplant with Buttermilk Sauce and Pomegranate

Equipment

  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper

Ingredients

For eggplants

  • 2 large and long eggplants
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon thyme leaves, plus a few whole sprigs to garnish
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 tsp za'atar
  • sea salt
  • black pepper

For sauce

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil, plus a drizzle to finish
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 pinch salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Prepare eggplant

  • Cut eggplants in half lengthwise. Keep green stalk on and cut straight through it. (The stalk is for the look, not to eat.)
  • WIth small sharp knife, make 3 or 4 parallel diagonal incisions in the cut side of each eggplant half. Do not cut through the skin.
  • Repeat at 90 degree angle, to get diamond-shaped pattern.
  • Place eggplant halves on parchment paper, with cut side up.
  • Brush eggplant halves with oil. Keep brushing until all the oil has been absorbed by the flesh.
  • Sprinkle with lemon thyme leaves, salt, and pepper.
  • Roast eggplants for 35-40 minutes, until flesh is soft and nicely browned.
  • Remove from oven.
  • Allow to cool completely.

Prepare pomegranate

  • While eggplant is in oven, cut pomegranate in 1/2 across the middle.
  • Hold 1/2 of pomegranate over bowl.
  • With the back of a wooden spoon, gently knock on pomegranate skin.
  • Continue beating with increasing power until seeds start coming out naturally and falling through your fingers into bowl.
  • Once all seeds are in bowl, sift through seeds to remove any bits of white skin or membrane.

Make sauce

  • Crush garlic.
  • Whisk together buttermilk, yogurt, 1 1/2 tbsp oil, garlic, and pinch of salt.
  • Keep cold until needed.

Serve

  • Cut eggplant halves into appropriate size pieces for serving.
  • Spoon plenty of sauce over eggplants, without covering stalks.
  • Sprinkle za'atar and plenty of pomegranate seeds on top.
  • Garnish with lemon thyme springs.
  • Finish with drizzle of oil.

Notes

Adapted from Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi.