Roasting eggplant turns its white flesh golden brown and gives it a wonderfully tender texture. The smoky tahini sauce, crunchy pine nuts and fresh herbs enhance the delicate, mild flavor of the eggplant.
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 clove garlic, crushed
- 1/4 cup raw tahini
- 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 3 tablespoons ice water, plus more as needed
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1½-2 pounds eggplant, cut in half lengthwise
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 cup seafood stock
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 6 fresh mint leaves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
Heat the oven to 400°F. Combine the lemon juice and garlic in a nonreactive bowl, and allow to steep for at least 20 minutes, until the juice is thoroughly infused.2.
Strain the lemon juice, add it to the tahini with 1/4 teaspoon salt, and beat on medium speed. It will seize up at first, but then it will be incorporated. Once it's got a uniformly fudgy consistency, slowly add the ice water and beat on high; again, it may seize up or look curdled, but it should smooth itself out into a thick mousse. If it doesn't, add more water, 1/2 tablespoon at a time. Set aside.3.
Spread 2 tablespoons olive oil over a rimmed baking sheet, skin side down. Arrange the eggplant side by side on the sheet, and drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over them, along with the sesame seeds, coriander and remaining 1 teaspoon salt.4.
Roast the eggplant for 10-15 minutes, until tender. Gently transfer to a serving plate.5.
While the eggplant bakes, combine the tahini and seafood stock in a small saucepan, and whisk over low heat just until the sauce is warm.6.
Pour the sauce all over the eggplant, then top it with the pine nuts and fresh herbs.