Sep 25, 2018 (Last updated Sep 13, 2021) by Hannah Sunderani
Hey guys! Today I’m sharing with you a quick and easy side recipe for my Garlicky Roasted Eggplant and Citrus-Tahini Dressing. Omgsh do I L.O.V.E this one!
I feel as though eggplant does not get the recognition it deserves – it really is a blessing of a side dish. There is something that is so warm, comforting and wholesome about eggplant. It’s a veg that is deep and complex, like mushrooms or sweet potato.
“EGGPLANT IS MY FAVOURITE VEG!” …said no-one ever. Amirite? And the questions is, why not!?
And I too have been victim to this unfair stereotype. I grew up in a family that too didn’t embrace the eggplant. My mum always talked about how difficult they were too cook – having to cut and salt them, and then pat out all the excess water to get out their bitterness before cooking. But actually, these fussy steps unnecessary. I never do this before cooking! Truth is, if you know how to cook eggplant correctly they are far from bitter, and absolutely delicious. And, there are many ways to enjoy them apart from eggplant parmesan.
The trick is – you want to cook the eggplant for a sufficient amount of time so that they become very soft and tender. I like to pick small eggplants that allows for less cook time. I paint my eggplant in oil and cook for 30-45 minutes, or until they get really soft. I also salt them generously before popping in the oven to really let the flavour absorb while roasting. The end result is divine.
To oil the eggplant I cut them first in half, and then gently slice into the eggplant flesh side up to make X’s or diamond pattern. These minor cuts allow the oils to really ooze into the eggplant while roasting.
For this specific recipe I’ve used my Fit-Actifs oil from Quintesens to paint the eggplant. The oil is an organic blend of extra virgin olive oil, sunflower oil, rapeseed and linseed. Quintesens sent me a bunch of products to try for review and I requested to try this particular oil. I like how this oil can be used for cooking in the oven, or in your frying pan, or served raw in salads. It has a higher boiling point unlike olive oil, which means that it doesn’t turn into a carcinogen at high roasting temperatures – perfect for this roasted eggplant recipe. I’ve also tried their salad dressings, and they’re premium. Check out my Fig and Arugula Pizza to see.
What’s also cool about Quintesens Fit-Actifs oil is that the blend is made specifically for a fit and active lifestyle. They also have other blends for pregnant women, babies, children and elderly people. They work with naturopaths and the nutritions counsel to create their blends. The goal is to offer a perfect ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 for every category of person.
In this recipe, I’ve mixed the oil with chopped garlic and ground cumin before painting onto the eggplants flesh-side-up, and then sprinkling generously with salt. The oil blend is an absolute dream in this eggplant dish as it infuses the eggplant with garlic and cumin as it cooks. It’s heavenly.
Then for serving, I’ve drizzle with my (what’s becoming signature) Citrus Tahini Dressing (recipe below). Essentially, it’s a blend of lemon, tahini, salt and a bit of water. It’s super simple to make and adds a beautiful creamy addition to the deep roasted eggplant. (Talk about best dressed). Then I’ve sprinkled with pomegranate and fresh mint to finish. The combo is premium.
So there you have it. A delicious recipe that will have you rethinking eggplant on your top 10 best veg list. I promise you that eggplant will no longer be the villain of vegetables after this gorgeous dish. And, if you do make this recipe please let me know in the comments below what you think! I love hearing from you. And of course, tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #twospoons. Nothing makes me happier than to see your recreations.
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Why have you not acknowledge Ottolenghi as inspiration for your recipe?
Hi Sara! Thanks so much for the comment and for sending this delicious looking recipe by Ottolenghi. I must admit that I didn’t know that he had a similar recipe, but my does it look gorgeous. The inspiration for my dish came from similar Lebanese dishes I’ve had at various restaurants with roasted eggplant and tahini (usually they blend theirs, but I like mine whole). Pomegranates and mint are also popular in Lebanese dishes, so I decided to top with these. Thanks so much though for sharing this recipe with me. I heard of Ottolenghi a few years ago from a friend who lives in London and would love to try his restaurant one day. 🙂