“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come whispering “It will be happier…”
Earthy & Exotic Flavours Combine in this Rustic Dish
Oh! Hey! Hi and Happy New Year!
I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful holiday season with family and friends and have leapt into the new year with great enthusiasm. I certainly have! The project to which I refer with a sort of annoying frequency of late is well underway and looking rather promising.
Next steps include putting myself in front of the people who will decide the future of my creative energies, determine the fate of the past nearly 4 years work, establish, and let’s be honest here, judge my worth as a food guru.
Well, that was a tad dramatic, wasn’t it? I’ll save you from some of the more effusive of my histrionics and simply get on with some healthy delicious-ness.
I love this recipe for so many reasons, the first and not least of which is that it can stand in as literally anything at any meal; side dish in a large meal, vegetarian main course, topping for a pasta or even a rustic hors-d’oeuvre.
The second reason I love it so is that it features tahini sauce which I swear I could just drink… actually! I think once you make it you too will decide that having some on hand in the fridge for any possible reason is going to be a good call.
And just a quick side note; NO you may NOT use peanut butter in place of tahini (believe it or not I actually read that in one cookbook.) Although tahini is similar to peanut butter in that they are both the finely ground outcome of a seed (or bean) they have DECIDEDLY different flavours!!!
Aren’t eggplant absolutely gorgeous? But as my daughter Jessica points out, only until they’re cooked, then they get a bit ugly. Super yum though so we must forgive them for their less than lovely post cooking appearance.
As you can clearly see the ones I photographed and the ones I cooked are different just in case you think that they might change colour that dramatically. Eggplant are in fact not remotely dramatic, they are reliable workhorses that can and SHOULD be used often.
I’ve written about tahini sauce a number of times here on Be Still & Eat and will likely many more times in the future. It’s a creamy and satisfying condiment that makes my mouth water even considering it. Its exotic nutty flavour conjures images of open-air markets in the Middle East or Northern Africa. Or in my case, since I’ve yet to actually travel there, the many cookbooks I have on those regions.
On a very happy note, I am most pleased to report that my brother Greg is back with wine pairings this week. I know that he’s in the midst of a lot of excitement and so let’s just enjoy him while we’ve got him. I can’t promise he’ll be here every week – fingers crossed!
Wine Pairing: “Oh wow! What an exciting looking dish! What else are you serving it with? (ed. note – you’ll see shortly he resolves this issue himself!) It’s a hard pairing in a lot of ways because the eggplant is pretty acidic and the tahini is tart as well, but also nutty, sort of like you. (ed. note – you gotta love brothers right?!) You generally try to face acid with acid and sweet with sweet, etc., but the eggplant may also have a smoky or earthy nature. (ed. note – it does) I am going to go easy here and say an oaky Californian or Australian Chardonnay. It should have enough acid and the oak will pair nicely with the earthy/smoky/nutty flavors.
I personally would dump a bunch of fried lamb and pine nuts in that sucker!”
Menu suggestion: I have to admit that I heartily agree with Greg’s suggestion that it be loaded up with lamb and pine nuts! It would be rather reminiscent of my recipe for Hummus & Hushwe so feel free to omit the hummus part and add just the hushwe! Delicious!
Enjoy & Namaste!
- Whole eggplant (amount will depend on number of mouths you're feeding - count on 1 large eggplant for 2 people)
- olive oil
- 1 cup tahini (sesame paste - found in most grocery stores)
- ¾ cup cold water
- ¾ cup lemon juice (depending on personal preference
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- Preheat oven to 375°
- Wash and lightly coat eggplant in olive oil, sprinkle skin liberally with S&P, prick a few times with a fork
- Toss those babies in the oven until fork tender, about 45 minutes, but time will change to a minor degree depending on size of eggplants
- Mix tahini with cold water FIRST (this will ensure a nice creamy white colour)
- Add lemon and garlic, adjust seasoning as necessary or to taste.
- When eggplant come out of oven tear open and drizzle with tahini sauce