Herbaceous Eggplant & Tahini Bake

#glutenfree #vegan #dairyfree

I have a thing about texture with food. I like to keep my mouth guessing. Do I chew, crunch or slurp? The eggplant in this dish is silky smooth inside, coated with a slightly crisp skin, the almonds add crunch, and the raisins burst with sweetness as soon as you chew the combo. Texture tick! This Moroccan inspired dish can be a delicious vegetarian meal on its own or paired with chargrilled skewers of choice.

Ingredients
  • 2 medium-sized eggplants
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 5-7 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 7-10 rosemary sprigs
  • 8 bay leaves
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of hulled tahini
  • 2 tablespoons of plain, organic yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of runny honey (or maple syrup to ensure the dish is vegan)
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely crushed
  • 2 tablespoons of hot water
  • ½ cup of toasted almonds
  • ¼ cup of raisins
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning, to taste
Method
  1. Cut the eggplant into 1 cm thick slices/rounds
  2. Sprinkle with salt, leave for 5 mins and mop up any excess moisture being released from the eggplant with paper towels
  3. Heat a large pan, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  4. Add the eggplant, bay leaves and half of the rosemary twigs (this may need to be done in batches, depending on size of pan)
  5. Cook the eggplant for about 5 minutes on each side, drizzling an extra 2-4 tablespoons of olive oil on top just before flipping
  6. When cooked, transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle the raisins throughout & the remaining rosemary (leaves only)
  7. Drizzle half of the lemon juice on top
  8. Mix tahini, honey/maple syrup, yoghurt, and remaining lemon juice + garlic together
  9. Stir in 2 tablespoons of hot water to liquefy the mixture
  10. Season with salt and pepper
  11. Serve with dollops or a drizzle of the tahini sauce and sprinkle the almonds over the top
  12. Enjoy!
Nutrition Bite

Eggplant – or Aubergine as it is called in France (sounds so much fancier a la Francais, of course!), is a vegetable long prized for its beauty as well as its unique taste and texture. Eggplant contains important phytonutrients, many which have antioxidant activity. Eggplants belong to the plant family known as nightshades.

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