Enjoy the flavours of the Middle East. Smokey meaty grilled eggplant, pre-marinated with Harissa and preserved lemon, served with creamy tahini-yoghurt dressing, vegetable salad, pomegranate, and fresh aromatic herbs. Seriously delicious!
This recipe is a simple way to turn eggplant from a plain vegetable to a delicious and nutritious dish. Eggplant has a firm, almost meaty texture. This quality makes them perfect for vegetarian dishes.
BBQ season in full swing now. Cooked well, eggplant can be beautiful on the BBQ but, prepared badly, it can also end up dry and flavourless or, worse, bitter. Barbecued eggplant should be nice and crisp and slightly charred on the outside and meltingly soft and full of flavour on the inside.
Eggplant, so good on its own, is also a culinary chameleon, absorbing herbs and spices to become any number of different dishes.
Eggplant perfectly paired with harissa paste. Harissa, the basic flavoring agent in Maghrebi cuisine, is extremely versatile. I’ve been using it on practically every Middle Eastern dish lately – and loving its spicy smoky heat.
If you like Middle Eastern cuisine you probably know that every dish is better when served with yoghurt! Hope you will enjoy the creamy tahini-yoghurt dressing that works great here and makes the dish is absolutely perfect.
- 2 big size eggplants
- 4 Tbsp coarse sea salt
- 1 Tbsp Harissa paste
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp pureed preserved lemons
- 3 Campari red or yellow tomato, seeds removed
- 1/2 Telegraph cucumber, seeds removed
- 1/4 red onion
- a few sprigs of fresh coriander
- lemon juice
- extra virgin olive oil
- Maldon salt
Tahini yoghurt dressing:
- 3 Tbsp tahini paste
- 2/3 cup Greek-style yoghurt
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- black pepper
- pomegranate seeds
- mint and lemon balm leaves
- Cut the eggplant in half and score the flesh pretty deeply with the tip of your knife in a cross-hatch pattern. Sprinkle eggplant halves generously with salt, then let them rest in a colander for about 20-30 minutes. Salt helps to remove excess of liquid and bitterness from eggplant.
- Rinse the eggplant under cold water and wipe with a paper towel. Then brush them generously with a mix of olive oil, preserved lemon puree, and the harissa paste.
- Preheat a grill or oven (180C).
- Cook eggplants on the grill until tender and meaty. Or roast them in the oven for about 40-45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, chop all the vegetables into small cubes (Brunoise cut). Season with salt, drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Add chopped coriander leaves and mix.
- In a small bowl mix all ingredients for tahini-yoghurt dressing.
- Serve the eggplant warm, topped with vegetable salsa and drizzled with the dressing. Garnish with pomegranate and mint. Enjoy!