There are many classic culinary pairings: lemon and blueberry, tomato and basil and the good ‘ole, eggplant and tahini. Well, you can also add in other pairings with eggplant like ground beef or lamb (or Beyond Meat in my case), parsley, lemon, garlic.. oh the list can go on and on.
A few weeks ago, Ellie and I traveled to Kansas City to visit my parents and see my brother and his family who also came to visit. While I wasn’t planning any blog posts that week, I ended up getting a big dose of inspiration!
My mom makes this roasted eggplant dish, topped with tahini, for her Shabbat lunch lately and it’s a hit! Thanks mom, for the “food/mom-spiration” for my post: Meatless-stuffed Eggplant with Tahini Sauce – a perfect dish for #meatlessmondays!
She makes hers as more of a side, rather than a main meal that accompany’s her extravagant Shabbat meals. Such Shabbat food at the Katzman house might consist of grilled salmon, lamb and white bean stew, beet and mango salad and endless amounts of warm challah and chilled wine. Just sitting here typing this, I can smell the kitchen on Shabbat morning with the smell of garlic and rosemary in the stew. #YUM
Impressing your Friends
You can absolutely make this with the intention of a side dish, but I thought, “why not add some protein and make this into a full meal?” It’s just one extra step that really packs a flavor punch. I also added some warm, aromatic Indian-inspired spices to this dish (allspice, cinnamon and cumin), all while truly fulfilling my current Israeli-food kick.
In case you’re wondering, I used the ground Beyond Meat (the one that comes in the square packaging, not the burger patties). But by all means, this would be incredibly delish (or assuming my meat-eating friends and family would say so), with ground beef or lamb. Plus, it re-heats nicely, so it’s a great addition to your menu anytime of the week!
Feel free to make the beef mixture ahead of time before roasting the eggplant, if that helps you save some time.
And the tahini sauce will keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks and it’s great on pretty much on, well, anything. 🙂
- 2 Large eggplants, halved and stems removed
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 Medium-sized yellow onion, diced
- 2 Garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 1 1/2 cups Ground Beyond Meat Or, use real ground beef or lamb!!
- 1 tsp Ground Allspice
- 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1/2 cup Fresh Cilantro, roughly chopped Or use parsley if that's more your jam! I had cilantro in the fridge so that's what I used
- 1/4 cup Pine nuts, toasted
- 1/2 Lemon
Pre-heat oven to 425F and place parchment paper in a casserole dish
Place the eggplant, flesh side up, on a large tray. Sprinkle the top with salt and set aside for 20 minutes. Working in the sink, gently squeeze the eggplant and wipe the tops of the eggplant dry
Cut a cross-hatch pattern into the eggplant flesh then brush with a little bit of olive oil. Lay the eggplant in the casserole dish, flesh-side down. Drizzle a little more extra virgin olive oil on top (you can also use a pastry brush to slather the oil all over the eggplant, so you have more control of how much oil is being used)
Roast the eggplant for 30 minutes or until flesh is tender and golden brown (but not burnt)
While eggplant is in the oven, make the meat stuffing mixture
In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Add ground Beyond Beef (or ground beef or lamb, if using) diced onions and garlic
Brown the Beyond Meat mixture over medium-high heat until for 3-5 minutes. Season the with salt and pepper, allspice, cinnamon and cumin, Remove from heat
Mix well and adjust seasonings as needed
When eggplant is done roasting, remove from oven and set aside for a few minutes. Lower oven to 375F
Using a spoon, gently push the eggplant flesh to make room for the meat mixture. Spoon the meat mixture to top the eggplant halves and top with the pine nuts
Cover the casserole dish with foil. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes
Top the eggplants with a good squeeze of lemon and drizzle the tahini dressing on top. Garnish with extra chopped parsley or cilantro and even some green onions if you want. These are from my porch garden! Serve warm with extra tahini dressing on the side, some hot sauce and a crusty piece of challah!
- 2 Garlic Cloves, peeled, roughly chopped
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 3/4 cup Tahini
- 1/4 tsp Pepper
- 1 Lemon, zested and juiced
- 1/4 cup Cold water, to thin out the sauce The tahini will solidify in the fridge, especially if yours is pretty dry, so make sure you have enough water on hand to thin it out to the consistency that you'd like. Or you can add a boat-load of lemon juice to thin it out, like I did. Because ya'll know, I LOVE lemon!
- 1 cup Fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped Or add parsley instead!
Add all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until all ingredients are combined
Add water if the tahini sauce is too thick
Serve drizzled on top of the roasted eggplant or serve with pita chips and veggies for an Israeli chips and dip!