Jake Cohen's Za’atar-Roasted Eggplant with Tahini
Photography © 2021 by Matt Taylor-Gross
Our friend, food writer and Nice Jewish Boy, Jake Cohen just released his gorgeous new cookbook, Jew-ish: A Cookbook: Reinvented Recipes from a Modern Mensch, and it's jam-packed with tahini-forward recipes. We’re so excited to share his Za'atar Roasted Eggplant with Tahini recipe, from the book, with you, which we tweaked slightly!
Jake says, “I cook a whole lot of eggplant in [the] book because it’s one of the most versatile veggies, and can take on a myriad of textures depending on how you cook it. This roasted number is a meatier vegetable side that can stand up to any protein, or even stand in for one as the topper for your next grain bowl. Halved eggplant is roasted in a lemony za’atar oil to take on an herbaceous tang before getting drizzled with garlicky tahini for richness and date syrup for a sweet finish. It tastes like you put in a lot more effort than you actually did, which is the ultimate sign of a great dish!"
2 lbs Italian eggplant (4 small), halved lengthwise
1⁄3 c extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbs za’atar
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1⁄3 c Seed + Mill Organic Tahini (any of our flavors would be delicious here!)
2 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 garlic clove, finely grated
1⁄4 c warm water
2 tbs date syrup (silan)
2 tbs fresh mint leaves, for garnish
Pomegranate seeds, for garnish
Flaky sea salt, for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper.
2. Score the flesh of each eggplant half with a paring knife, making a series of 1⁄2-inch-long slices (about 1⁄4 inch deep) on the diagonal and then an- other round of slices perpendicular to the first, creating a crosshatch pattern. Place the eggplant cut-side up on the prepared sheet pan.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, za’atar, lemon zest, and a heavy pinch each of kosher salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the egg- plant, rubbing it into the crosshatches.
4. Roast the eggplant for 35 to 40 minutes, until tender when pierced with a paring knife.
5. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and warm water until smooth. Season with kosher salt and pepper.
6. Transfer the eggplant to a platter and drizzle with the tahini sauce and date syrup. Garnish with the mint leaves, pomegranate seeds, and a pinch of flaky sea salt, then serve.
Also in Recipes
This recipe comes from Jessie Sheehan's new book Snackable Bakes, which we cannot wait to bake our way through!
"These are a take on my MIL’s Oh Henry!® bars, a fantastically chewy and flavorful bar cookie, that gives off plenty of the caramel/peanut/chocolate vibes of the actual candy. That is due to a slightly nutty oat base that is briefly cooked on the stovetop, baked, and then topped with a chocolate glaze. They were on regular rotation when my husband was growing up and I’m still jealous about that. Here, I’ve given them a little tahini makeover (usually they call for peanut butter) and I’m pretty darn excited about it."
We had a lot of fun making these skewers with the vegan kelp “meat” made by our friends at Akua! Anything that involves a grill, warm weather, good company and delicious whole ingredient food is going to keep us happy!
We paired these skewers with a vibrant, herby tahini sauce that is perfect as a skewer dipping, drizzle sauce, salad dressing or crudite dip!