Let’s be honest, eggplants aren’t for everyone.
Some people find them too slimy or too seedy in texture, and others find its earthy, rooty flavour downright offensive.
I personally prefer not to associate with such people.
Alright, alright, I kid. I of course have several friends (and even a boss/business partner) of the eggplant-hating persuasion, and while I will forever be lost as to the mysterious ways in which their tastebuds work, I try not to let it bother me too much. After all, it means more babaghanoush for me, right?
Eggplants, to me, are one of the most truly versatile vegetables out there. Looking for a meaty component to a curry or stew? Eggplants. Need a grilled companion to your hummus and sun-dried tomato sandwich? Eggplants. Craving a creamy yet smoky vegetable dip?
I expect you see where I’m going with this.
Despite the fact that I obviously think eggplants make for a great ingredient, one of my favourite ways to prepare the humble purple vegetable is as a whole ingredient.
It requires minimal prep, comes together in a matter of minutes but tastes (and looks) like you’ve been slaving away at it for hours.
- 2 medium eggplants, halved
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- 2-4 tbsp za'atar spice mix
- One serving of raw vegan labneh or ½ cup soy yoghurt
- Preheat your oven to 200 C.
- Using a knife, score your eggplants lightly flesh side up. Season liberally with salt and allow to rest in a bowl for 5-10 minutes, this will help release excess moisture.
- Using a pastry brush, brush some olive oil on each eggplant and sprinkle on 1 tbsp (or more, depending on preference) of za'atar - use your fingers to really massage or "rub" it in.
- Place the eggplants face down on a baking sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes until the eggplant looks slightly collapsed and is easily pierced with a knife.
- To serve, spread some raw vegan labneh or soy yoghurt and garnish with tomato slices and parsley or even pomegranate tendrils and more za'atar.
And there you have it. Whole baked eggplants marinated with za’atar and olive oil topped with creamy raw vegan labneh. The quintessential component to a vegan Mediterranean feast.
I hope you make this soon, especially if, like me, you often find yourself with a lonely eggplant at the bottom of your vegetable drawer just begging to be used.
Ps. Thoughts on the new logo and blog design? I’m still working on some updates so please bear with me or shoot me an e-mail if something you’re looking for disappears!