This recipe was inspired by, well - can we be real here? - a sorry looking eggplant in my fridge. The fridge is also on its last legs and sounds like it’s going to blast off into space any second, and it’s driving. me. nuts. I should be baking all those frozen cookie dough balls before it completely dies on me, leaving me up a creek with 4 batches of thawing dough, and no party!
Anyhow, the contents of the dying fridge were the aforementioned sad eggplant, greek yogurt, sun-blushed tomatoes and crispy chickpeas. I love the contrast of warm and cool foods (ice cream and warm brownie) or creamy and crunchy (chips and dip, anyone?) and this dish ticks all the boxes.
This is a very simple version of something you can really take to town and embellish for company. Let’s call this the pantry version, if you will. You could add mint and garlic to the yogurt for a simple tzatziki, amp up the spices, add some heat, and get nice grill marks on the eggplant. But this version here took only 5 minutes to put together as I already had the componenta. Strip it down further to bare naked chickpeas and cherry tomatoes, and you’re still going to have one heck of a salad to enjoy!
Now on to those cookies….xoxo Kirsty
Ingredients (Serves 2)
1 eggplant, cubed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon za’atar
a handful of sun-blushed or sun-dried tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes)
1/2 cup crispy chickpeas* or 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (keep the liquid to make aquafaba mayo!)
1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
Olive oil to drizzle
Mint, sesame seeds and flaky sea salt to garnish
Preheat the oven to 400F (200C). Cube the eggplant, spread out onto a baking tray, toss in olive oil, and sprinkle over za’atar. Roast for 20-25 minutes, tossing halfway, until the edges start to brown.
Slice the sun-blushed tomatoes into strips. If you’re using cherry tomatoes toss them in the oven with the eggplant for 15 minutes.
Smoosh the greek yogurt onto half the plate, making a few indentations with a spoon so that the drizzles of olive oil have somewhere to go. Top with eggplant, chickpeas, tomatoes, and sprinkle with mint, sesame seeds and a good pinch of flaky salt. Cut up some pita wedges and enjoy!
* For the crispy chickpeas, rinse and drain one can of chickpeas. Dry well with paper towels, spread evenly on a baking sheet, toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast at 400F (200C) for 20 minutes, tossing halfway.