Roasted Eggplant with Buttermilk Sauce and Pomegranate
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- 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
- 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
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- 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.
- 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.
- Crush garlic.
- Whisk together buttermilk, yogurt, 1 1/2 tbsp oil, garlic, and pinch of salt.
- Keep cold until needed.
- 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.
Adapted from Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi.