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Roasted Eggplant with Spicy Tahini and Tomato Matbucha

COOK TIME
15 mins
PREP TIME
30 mins
SERVINGS
4-8
RATE THIS RECIPE
(11)
COOK TIME
15 mins
PREP TIME
30 mins
SERVINGS
4-8
RATE THIS RECIPE
(11)

Ingredients

Matbucha
  • 1 pint Sungold tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 shallot, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
Spicy Tahini
  • 1 cup tahini
  • 1 tablespoon shatta (Middle Eastern hot sauce) or your favorite hot sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • salt, to taste
Eggplant
  • 4 graffiti eggplant or small Italian eggplant
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 2 teaspoons salt, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
To Serve
  • 1/2 pint Sungold tomatoes
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing
  • 1/4 sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/8 cup small whole basil leaves, or larger leaves, torn

Chef notes

This is a great vegetarian main course that is bright, colorful and delicious, and best of all, it comes together quickly. The matbucha is bright and fresh, so use it wherever you want a little taste of summer: Spread it on toasted bread; use it as the base for a salad dressing; or use it as a condiment for eggs, roasted vegetables or fish.

Technique tip: Since you will be serving the eggplants cut in half, be sure to select the best ones you can find, with no bruises or imperfections. When cooking, you want to make sure that the eggplant is cooked through but still holds its shape. Test for doneness by inserting the tip of a sharp, thin knife; it should pierce the flesh easily.

Swap option: This dish can be made vegan by omitting the feta cheese, or nut-free by omitting the almonds.

Preparation

For the matbucha:

1.

Turn on broiler to high.

2.

Rinse and dry your tomatoes and add to a bowl with chopped garlic and shallot, 2 tablespoons olive oil and a couple pinches of salt. Toss well to combine.

3.

Place the seasoned vegetables on a metal tray. Broil for 5 minutes, until tomatoes have burst and are slightly charred. Remove from oven and cool slightly.

4.

Place the tomato mixture into your blender. Pulse 3 or 4 times to break them down. Be careful with the hot liquid and do not fill the blender more than halfway. Add the sherry vinegar, salt and the juice from the lemon half. Blend briefly to combine. With the blender running on medium speed, drizzle the olive oil in a slow, steady stream until the sauce is smooth and thickened (you may not need to use all of the oil).

5.

Reserve sauce until ready to serve.

For the spicy tahini:

Combine the tahini, hot sauce, cumin, the juice from the lemon half and water in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt. Set aside until ready to use.

This can be kept refrigerated in an airtight container for up to three days.

For the eggplant:

1.

Preheat the oven to 450 F.

2.

Cut eggplant in half lengthwise. Score the flesh in a cross-hatch pattern along the length of the cut side. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and cumin.

3.

Place on a sheet tray, scored-side up and roast in the oven for 5 minutes. Rotate the tray and cook for another 5 minutes. When ready, the eggplant should be cooked all the way through but maintain its shape. Insert a knife into the flesh to test. Cook for a minute or two more if needed.

To Serve:

1.

Cut tomatoes in half. Toss in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of the matbucha and a pinch of salt, lemon juice and olive oil. Set aside.

2.

Dollop a spoon of spicy tahini in a large shallow bowl. Drag the back of a spoon through the tahini and draw it across the plate.

3.

Place two pieces of eggplant across from the tahini.

4.

Top the eggplant with a spoon of the matbucha. Spread out the matbucha so that it covers the surface of the eggplant. Spoon the cut tomatoes on top of the matbucha. Sprinkle some almonds over. Add a few pieces of crumbled feta and drizzle with olive oil. Finish with the basil.