Passionate about exploring the world's culinary diversity, & using the very best seasonal, local ingredients.
August 18, 2017
Baharat Roasted Eggplant Salad
This delicious roasted eggplant salad can be served either warm or cold. Seasoned with Lebanese style Baharat, a Middle Eastern seasoning mix, this light, creamy dish has a rich, warm flavor — perfect for early spring or early fall.
As I was working on my roast leg of lamb recipe for Love Lamb Week, which will take place from September 1st to 7th, I realized I had yet to develop a baharat recipe for eggplant. I needed to remedy the situation so that you could have the pleasure of enjoying this classic pairing.
Baharat goes as beautifully with eggplant as it does with lamb. Even my husband, who dislikes eggplant, loves it prepared this way. Despite the double cream yoghurt and the tahini, this dish is light. Thus, it makes a lovely foil for grilled or roasted meats.
In Johannesburg, beautiful spring eggplants are just coming back into the markets. However, for those of you in the Western Hemisphere, who are heading into fall, this would also be a lovely, seasonal dish. The thing I love about this roasted salad is that it is delicious warm and cold. So, the serving temperature really depends on what is appropriate for your occasion and weather.
Middle Eastern Ingredients
With the resurgence of interest in Middle Eastern foods, many basic ingredients are more widely available than ever. So, it would be a shame not to put them to good use!
Baharat is easy to make at home with supermarket spices. If you do not have this spice mix on hand or (like me) you prefer homemade, see my recipe here.
The other two Middle Eastern ingredients called for in the recipe, tahini and pomegranate molasses, are available at many grocers or online. If you live in Johannesburg, both ingredients can be purchased at Thrupps. Bon appétit!
This delicious salad can be served either warm or cold. Its warming spices contrast beautifully with the creamy tahini sauce and tart pomegranate pearls. Perfect for entertaining, as its pretty on the plate and easy to make ahead.
For the eggplant
2 medium eggplants, sliced 1 cm (1/2 in) thick
3 teaspoons baharat spice mix
1 teaspoon natural sea salt, or to taste
For the tahini sauce
1/2 cup double cream yogurt
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (juice of 1/2 a lemon)
1/2 tablespoon tahini
For the garnish
3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
2 tablespoons fresh coriander, finely chopped
4 tablespoons fresh pomegranate pearls
Heat the oven to 200° C (400° F). Line a baking tray with foil.
Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with olive oil.
Mix baharat spices and salt thoroughly. Dust the eggplant slices with this mixture on both sides and lay them on the baking tray.
Bake for 20 minutes (until tender and creamy) and remove from the oven to cool.
Meanwhile, stir together the ingredients for the tahini sauce to combine. Ensure that the ingredients are thoroughly whipped, particularly the tahini paste -- which can be clumpy.
Swirl the serving plates or platter with about a third of the tahini sauce.
Lay eggplant slices on the plates or patter in an attractive way. Dot each of the eggplant slices with a dollop of tahini sauce. Drizzle the eggplant with pomegranate molasses. Sprinkle the serving platter or individual plates with chopped coriander and pomegranate pearls.
This dish can be made ahead and chilled until serving time. If you choose to prepare the salad in advance, store the tahini sauce, eggplant, and garnish in the fridge separately, and assemble your platter or plates just before serving.