Roasted Aubergine with Pesto and Tahini

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This roasted aubergine dish is another favorite in my book. It is undemanding and rather effortless, but its flavors are anything but modest. This recipe for me, is synonymous with the simplicity and freshness of Eastern Mediterranean and Levantine cuisine.  Roasted aubergine slices topped with a flavorful basil pesto and tangy tahini drizzle… A fusion of Palestinian and Italian flavors that make for a most delightful starter or side dish. So much gusto!

Cooking requires letting go and breaking the rules. There is no need to be too careful or precise. Something that I have always been grateful for is having the opportunity to cook as a child, when I did not have to worry about the way things were supposed to be. Instead, I would let my imagination guide me and combine the flavors of the world as I saw fit. Sure, it led to a few kitchen disasters, but it also led to even more successful creations and more importantly, a sort of creative freedom that has stayed with me to this day. This dish is reflective of that free spirited philosophy because in the end, cooking really is about passion. And that passion only shines through when we feel comfortable being ourselves.

INGREDIENTS/ SERVES 4

For the Eggplant

2 large eggplants/aubergines, sliced approx. 3/4 in. thick
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt, to your taste
good grinding freshly ground black pepper

For the Pesto

1 packed handful fresh basil leaves or 1/2 packed cup, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan, optional
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt, to your taste

For the Tahini Sauce

2 tablespoons tahini paste
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons water
salt, to your taste

METHOD

1. Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C). Spread the eggplant slices onto a large baking sheet and brush with the olive oil. Season with salt a bit more generously than you usually would, (and wipe off any excess with a paper towel after roasting). The salt helps to eliminate the acidity of the eggplant. Top with a good grinding of freshly ground black pepper and roast for about 35-40 minutes or until golden.

2. In the meantime, blitz together the basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan (if using), lemon juice, and salt in a food processor until a paste forms. Stream in the olive oil and blend to make a smooth paste. Check for salt and set aside.

3. For the tahini sauce, mix the tahini paste and lemon juice in a small bowl until thick and light. Stream in the water and mix until you get a smooth honey-like consistency. Add salt if needed.

4. Arrange the roasted eggplant slices in a dish and drizzle the pesto and tahini sauce over the top. Add any toppings and serve right away!

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18 Comments Add yours

  1. Shaun Jex says:

    I need to not read your blog when I am hungry. It is a special kind of torture. I will be making this recipe soon. Keep up the great work!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hanady says:

      Hi Shaun! Hehe, my apologies – didn’t mean to get you hungry! Thank you so much for your comment. I hope you love the recipe. X

      Like

  2. Aurora says:

    This looks absolutely amazing! I love the vibrant colors! So artistic and appetizing! And I could not agree more, it is so important to feel free in the kitchen. For me, the lesson took some time to grasp, but cooking is so much more pleasurable now that I’ve got it! X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hanady says:

      Thank you for the kind words, Aurora! I’m so glad you feel the same way! 🙂 X

      Like

  3. ladyredspecs says:

    Eggplant/aubergine is a marvel, there’s so much you can do with it, but I love it cooked and served simply. This looks delicious

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hanady says:

      Thank you, dear! I couldn’t agree more, it’s such a versatile food and delicious in so many ways. My favorite way to eat eggplant is also on its own as you can really appreciate its natural flavor. 🙂 X

      Liked by 1 person

  4. thelongview says:

    Looks delicious! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think I’m going to need to start using some new superlatives otherwise I’ll be repeating myself on every one of your posts!!!! This looks absolutely gorgeous!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hanady says:

      Haha! I was thinking the same thing with regards to your posts! 🙂 I think that in our case, it’s more than okay to be repetitive. We are too much alike. 🙂 Thank you my dear. X

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think you’re absolutely right!!! I hope you’ve had a lovely day my foodie twin xxx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hanady says:

        Same to you, lovely! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. chefkreso says:

    Delicious! Nice post and thanks for the recipe!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hanady says:

      Thank you for your kind comment! I hope you’ll enjoy it. – Hanady X

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Shaun Jex says:

    By the way, I made this for the wife and kids yesterday. My wife and I absolutely loved it. I think the kids are going to have to develop their palate before they can appreciate pesto 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hanady says:

      Hi Shaun! Thank you for trying out the recipe! I’m so glad you loved it. Surely your kids will learn to love pesto as well! 🙂 X

      Like

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