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 to 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
1. 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.