Found this cookbook, “Plenty’ by Yotam Ottolenghi, in Anthropologie…what drew me to it was the cover picture…a picture of this eggplant dish! I loved it for so many reasons~~it’s rustic and organic look, the vibrant colors, the caramelized browning on the eggplant, the creaminess of the sauce on it, and the slightly charred skin. So after fanning throught the pictures, I bought the cookbook, not cheap by no means, knowing it was was created by a kindred Boho spirit!
It’s a collection of ‘vibrant vegetable recipes from London’s Ottolenghi~~and, it smacked to the heart of my nomad love of global cooking! Janey G. of the food blog, ‘Slice-of -Slim‘, described this as “Oh WOW Ally- this is right up my street!!! They look like stained glass bowls containing something from Heaven!!! This was worth waiting for….. ”
Preheat oven to 250 then after 30 minutes raise to 400
2 eggplant, about medium size
1/3 cup olive oil
1 ½ tsp. lemon thyme leaves, plus some sprigs for garnish
Sea Salt (to taste)
Coarse Ground Pepper (to taste)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup Greek plain yogurt
2 Tbl. olive oil, divided
1 medium size garlic smashed and minced
2 tsp. Za'atar, can substitute harissa
1 cup pomegranate seeds
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Slice the eggplants in half lengthwise through the stalks (do not cut off). To get them to sit flat without wobbling, slice off a small piece on the back to help anchor the eggplant flat. Score the meat of the eggplant making three long incisions from top to bottom about ½” deep. Then repeat at a 45-degree angle to get a diamond-shaped pattern.
Brush on equal amounts of olive oil until it’s all absorbed on the eggplants. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and some of the thyme leaves (and small stems if you like). Place in a 200 degree preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes. Raise temperature to 400 and roast another 20 minutes or until the eggplants are nice browned. Remove and let cool.
While eggplants are cooking, make the sauce. Combine the buttermilk, yogurt, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the garlic in a small bowl and blend together. Refrigerate.
When ready to serve, scoop on equal amounts of the buttermilk sauce, sprinkle with some of the Zahtar, and some of the pomegranate seeds. Garnish with thyme sprigs. Serve!
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