I had been thinking about this lemon and garlic tahini sauce since I made it last week for the Roasted Butternut Squash dish from the Jerusalem cookbook, and was trying to conjure more applications for it. I decided to try it with eggplant and was so excited when the combination turned out so scrumptious, so meant to be, so… familiar, when — midway through scarfing it down — I realized what I had was actually a deconstructed Baba Ghanouj, with all the Baba Ghanouj flavors (eggplant, lemon, garlic, tahini) but just in a different form. I love the almost-meaty texture of eggplant, sliced thickly and roasted, so I think I like this even better than the pureed kind. In fact, if I were a vegetarian, this would most certainly be my steak. Happy Weekend!
Note: While I used store-bought tahini here, someday I am going to try a homemade version posted by fellow blogger and tahini maestra, Elaine, here at Foodbod. Please check out her step-by-step tutorial and lovely blog!
Roasted Eggplant with Lemon & Garlic Tahini Sauce (Deconstructed Baba Ghanouj)
(Tahini Sauce adapted from the Roasted Butternut Squash dish in the Jerusalem cookbook by Ottolenghi and Tamimi)
Serves 2 as side dishes
- 1 eggplant, ends sliced off and cut into 3/4-inch slices
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- salt & pepper
- 2 cloves garlic (whole, peel left on)
- 2 Tbs. tahini sauce
- 1 Tbs. lemon juice
- 1 Tbs. water
- handful of parsley, cut or torn
- optional garnish: sliced cherry tomatoes
Preheat oven to 475 F/240 C. Line a baking sheet with foil and sprinkle the center with half the olive oil and spread around the surface. Place eggplant slices on the baking sheet, rubbing them a bit in the oil, brush the tops with the remaining olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt & pepper, then flip the eggplant over and sprinkle that side lightly with salt & pepper. Put the whole cloves with their peels still on, alongside the eggplant slices. Bake for 25 minutes, or until bottom sides of eggplant are nicely browned and garlic is nicely roasted (it should be golden and softened inside). Remove the garlic and set aside. Flip the eggplant over and return to the oven for an additional 15 minutes or until roasted through.
Meanwhile, make the sauce by combining tahini, lemon juice, and a bit of the water at a time until it reaches the desired consistency. Taste and add salt. When garlic is ready, remove the peel and smash, using a knife to mince if necessary, and then mix in with the sauce. When eggplant is ready, let it cool slightly, then drizzle with the sauce, sprinkle with parsley and serve.