Another week and a bigger mess in the place we call home. I’m keeping my eye on the prize though….I can already imagine myself cooking in that new kitchen!! I photographed this recipe for Roasted Eggplant + Tahini before the big demo began, so you’re in luck. I’m going to make this all during construction using my grill, so we are in luck too!
Anytime I can jazz something up with fresh herbs, garlic and lemon I’m a happy camper. Many fresh herbs, like parsley, have the same nutritional benefits as other leafy greens. Often in prepared and packaged foods or when you eat at restaurants (or get take out), they use refined oils, too much salt, preservatives and “natural” flavors (like MSG) to give foods flavor and shelf life. I vote for letting the natural flavor of food shine through and just enhancing it with aromatics like garlic and fresh lemon.
Did you know that eggplant is actually classified as a fruit, rather than a vegetable? Eggplants are known for having a unique range of health benefits, derived from their vitamin, mineral and nutrient content and the fact that they contain almost no cholesterol or saturated fat. Eggplant has an ability to build strong bones and prevent osteoporosis, reduce the symptoms of anemia and increase cognition. It also improves cardiovascular health, protects the digestive system, can reduce stress and protect infants from birth defects.
Scoring the sliced eggplant on the diagonal makes sure there are lots of nooks and crannies for the tasty marinade to soak into, making every bite of this roasted eggplant super tasty!
If you’re going to make this on the grill, simply brush a bit of olive oil on the sliced and scored eggplant, grill and then brush the marinade over the already cooked eggplant. I would still use the tahini drizzle because…. TAHINI friends. I use tahini for both the nutty flavor and the healthy fats and calcium. It’s so versatile. This is a sweet version with the maple syrup, but tahini is a great base when you need something savory as well. I added a good pinch of crushed red pepper in the marinade, but otherwise a squirt of sriracha would be a welcome spice in the drizzle.
If you planted eggplant in your garden this year, this recipe should be top on your list to make when they’re ready to pick, along with Deconstructed Grilled Ratatouille Salad.
- 2 medium eggplant (or 4 small)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 3 cloves garlic, zested or pressed
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (less if you don't like spicy)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- additional parsley for garnish
- finishing salt (I use Maldon).
- 3 Tablespoons tahini
- 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 teaspoons maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 400 and line large baking pan with unbleached parchment paper.
- Slice eggplant lengthwise into 1/2" ovals and place on prepared pan. With the tip of a knife, score the flesh in a diamond cross-hatch pattern, careful not to cut all the way through.
- Mix olive oil with parsley, garlic, spices, lemon zest and juice.
- Brush mixture onto eggplant and roast for 25 minutes or until flesh is tender when pierced with a fork.
- While eggplant is roasting, make tahini drizzle by whisking ingredients together.
- When eggplant is finished roasting, sprinkle on some finishing salt, some chopped parsley and serve warm or at room temperature.
- Drizzle on tahini just before serving and pass around some extra.
TO GRILL INSTEAD OF OVEN ROAST: If you'd prefer to grill the eggplant, follow steps 1-3. Brush eggplant with a bit of olive oil so it doesn't stick to grill. When eggplant is finished, brush on the green sauce and then pass around the tahini to drizzle.
Amount Per Serving Calories 205Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 0mgSodium 282mgCarbohydrates 22gFiber 5gSugar 8gProtein 3g
The nutrition calculations were done using online tools. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients you used. You are ultimately responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information is accurate, complete and useful.