Roast eggplant is deliciously smoky with a melt-in-your mouth texture. This version calls upon the deep and delicate flavours of the idyllic Mediterranean.
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Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
To make the tahini-yoghurt sauce, whisk the tahini, yoghurt, lemon juice, garlic and honey in a small bowl until smooth. Season.
Combine the cumin, sumac and cinnamon in a small bowl. Season.
Use a small sharp knife to score the cut-side of each eggplant half in a diamond pattern (don’t cut all the way through). Place, cut-side up, on the lined tray. Spray with olive oil spray and sprinkle with cumin mixture. Bake for 30-35 mins or until eggplant is tender.
Divide the eggplant among serving plates. Drizzle with half the tahini-yoghurt sauce. Sprinkle with pine nuts, pomegranate seeds and parsley. Serve with salad leaves, lemon wedges and remaining sauce drizzled with olive oil.
We Aussies love Mediterranean cuisine. Loaded with fresh fruit and vegetable flavours, grains and even more delicious herbs and spices, it’s a style of cooking that has deservedly found its way onto our tables. This Mediterranean-style roasted eggplant recipe is perfect as a vegetarian main or served as part of a Mediterranean spread. It’s also great as a side for roast meats cooked with similar smoky flavours.
Mediterranean recipes – especially served with a side of Mediterranean eggplant – are guaranteed to go down well with friends. For other ideas and inspiration, serve up Curtis Stone’s lamb with pistachio and pomegranate to feed a crowd. For a traditional dessert, try a Greek baklava recipe.
It’s helpful to know what to look for when buying fresh veggies and how to store them. When it comes to eggplants, look for a nice shine and smooth skin. It should also be slightly firm (like a ripe tomato) and the stem should be a bright green colour. Keep eggplants in the fridge for up to a week and use them in a Mediterranean eggplant dish, like this one.
There used to be a school of thought that eggplants needed to be ‘salted’ before they were cooked. This meant slicing and sprinkling with salt, then setting aside for a good while to draw out the moisture and the ‘bitter’ flavour. This may have been necessary back when eggplant tended to have a more bitter taste. These days eggplants have a milder flavour that is somewhat like a zucchini. It’s the mild taste that makes eggplant perfect for absorbing lots of delicious flavours from the ingredients it's cooked with.
Roasting eggplant couldn’t be simpler. We suggest scoring your eggplant halves to help the flavours get into the vegetable (a diamond pattern looks nice). After you’ve done that, spray with oil, sprinkle with spice mix and cook – no turning needed – until your roasted eggplant halves are done.
Our spice mix adds a hit of Mediterranean flavour thanks to the cumin, cinnamon and sumac. To finish the dish, we suggest a tahini yoghurt sauce, which adds tang, and pomegranate seeds for a sweet pop. Serve roast eggplant as part of a Mediterranean banquet which includes a warm Mediterranean lamb salad, kibbeh and a Greek-style roast chicken salad.