Oh how I love summer! Produce prices finally come down and neighbors begin to share their bumper crops of tomato, zucchini, and eggplant. When I walked into the store the other day I saw that eggplant was on sale, so I took the opportunity to make an extra vegetable side for my meal. Eggplant with tahini is a fairly common combo and, since I love them both so much, I couldn’t wait to try it. I simply roasted the eggplant in the oven until it was soft and creamy, then drenched it in my new favorite lemon tahini dressing (remember the one from the Falafel Salad? SO GOOD.). A little fresh cilantro on top took this dish to the next level and I was a very happy camper.
I made a half batch of the dressing this time around and used garlic powder instead of fresh garlic to reduce the potency of my dragon breath after eating (ha!). If you want to use fresh garlic instead, use one clove (minced) in place of the garlic powder listed in the recipe. If you don’t want to heat up your kitchen by roasting the eggplant in the oven, you can pop the eggplant rounds on the grill instead, which will also add an awesome smoky flavor. Not a fan of cilantro? No problem. Just use some fresh parsley instead.
This recipe makes about four side dish sized servings, but I can’t lie. I could eat the entire eggplant! It’s so good for sopping up that delicious dressing. So, so good.
- 1 medium eggplant (about 1⅓ lb.) $2.77
- 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
- Handful fresh cilantro or parsley leaves $0.30
- 3 Tbsp tahini $0.61
- 3 Tbsp water $0.00
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice $0.09
- ¼ tsp garlic powder $0.02
- ¼ tsp cumin $0.02
- ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
- ¼ tsp salt $0.02
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the eggplant into ½ inch rounds.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the eggplant rounds in a single layer on the baking sheet. Use a second sheet if necessary. Use a pastry brush to brush the olive oil over the surface of the eggplant. Bake the eggplant in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes, or until soft and no longer spongey.
- While the eggplant is baking, prepare the dressing. Add the tahini, water, lemon juice, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne, and salt to a small blender and blend until smooth. If a small blender is not available, whisk the ingredients together in a bowl. Refrigerate the dressing until the eggplant is ready, so the flavors can blend and the mixture will thicken.
- When the eggplant is finished, drizzle the dressing over top and then sprinkle with fresh cilantro or parsley leaves.
Step by Step Photos
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice one medium eggplant (about 1 1/3 lbs.) into 1/2 inch rounds.
Arrange the eggplant on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Use a pastry brush to brush 2 Tbsp of olive oil over the surface of the eggplant. You’ll notice in the picture that I tried drizzling the oil first (even though I knew better) and the eggplant simply soaked up the oil like a sponge. I then switched to a brush for the second tablespoon and was able to nicely coat the eggplant with oil.
Roast the eggplant in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes, or until it’s soft and no longer spongy. Eggplant takes on the most deliciously creamy texture when it’s roasted. It’s AWESOME.
While the eggplant is roasting, make the dressing by whisking or blending together 3 Tbsp tahini, 3 Tbsp water, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp cumin, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, and 1/4 tsp salt. Keep the dressing in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it so that it thickens up and coats the eggplant well. Drizzle that deliciousness over the eggplant, then sprinkle with some fresh cilantro or parsley leaves.
Simple. Delicious. Elegant.