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+ servings

Burnt Eggplant and Tahini

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggplants (~ 1 pound each or 1 large eggplant + 1 lb parsnips)
  • cup tahini paste
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp pomegranate molasses (or regular molasses)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 mini cucumbers
  • ¾ cup cherry tomatoes
  • seeds from a large pomegranate (or purchased pomegranate seeds)
  • a little olive oil to finish

Instructions

  • Burn & Prepare the Eggplant
  • Preheat the oven to 375° F
  • Prick each eggplant a few times, then char the outside of the eggplants by placing them directly on the flame of a gas burner and as the skin chars, turn them until the eggplants are uniformly-charred on the outside.
  • (If you don’t have a gas stove, you can char them under the broiler, or use your toaster oven's broiler. If not, skip to the next step.)
  • Place the eggplants on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until they’re completely soft; you should be able to easily poke a paring knife into them and meet no resistance.
  • If using parsnips .. prepare them by cleaning, pealing and then chopping them. Place them on a separate baking sheet and put them in the oven at the same time the eggplant goes in. They may need to cook a bit longer, so you'll want to keep an eye on them separately.
  • Remove from oven and let cool.

  • Prepare the Dip
  • Transfer the eggplant flesh (and optional roasted parsnips) to the bowl of your food processor or blender
  • Add the tahini, water, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, and some salt and pepper; mix well
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more garlic, lemon juice or molasses if needed.
  • Add additional water depending on your preferred texture
  • You want the dip to have a robust sour/slightly sweet flavor.
  • If you want to add cucumber and tomatoes, cut the cucumbers lengthways in half and then each half lengthways in two.
  • Cut each quarter into 3/8-inch-long pieces.
  • Halve the tomatoes. Stir them and the cucumber into the eggplant mix.
  • To serve, spread over a shallow dish, scatter the pomegranate seeds on top and drizzle with oil.