Ottolenghi Roasted Eggplant with Yogurt-Tahini Sauce


1-2 lbs eggplants, cut in half lengthwise through the stalk
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. lemon thyme leaves, plus a few whole springs to garnish (use fresh thyme if you can’t find lemon thyme)
1/4 c. pomegranate seeds
1 tsp. za’atar (recipe below)
Yogurt Sauce (recipe below)
coarse sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
warm toasted bread


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Slash the flesh of each eggplant half 3-4 times the long way, but don’t cut all the way through to the skin. Repeat at a 45-degree angle to make a diamond-shaped pattern.

Transfer the eggplant halves to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the olive oil over the eggplant halves until all of the oil has been absorbed (several passes). Scatter the thyme leaves over the halves and sprinkle lightly with coarse salt and a few grinds of pepper. Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast the eggplant for 35-40 minutes, until the flesh is very soft and nicely browned. Remove from the oven and cool.

For the za’atar:
1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
1/4 c. dried sumac
2 Tbsp. dried thyme
2 Tbsp. dried marjoram
2 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. coarse salt

Grind ingredients together in a food processor, spice grinder, or clean coffee grinder. Store in a plastic zip bag or in an airtight container.

For the yogurt sauce:
1/2 c. Greek yogurt
1/4 c. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small garlic clove, crushed
2 tbsp tahini1

1/4 tsp salt 

To serve eggplant, spoon yogurt sauce over eggplant halves. In a small bowl, stir together za’atar with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and drizzle over yogurt. Scatter pomegranate seeds and chopped herbs on top and serve with warm toasty bread.