Roasted Tahini Pomegranate Eggplants
Nov 15, 2022, Updated Mar 08, 2023
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If you like baba ganoush, you’ll love these roasted eggplants with tahini, sumac, and pomegranate with a similar flavor inspired by a Moroccan immigrant cooking demonstration I attended while on a culinary tour of Israel!
This post is inspired by a trip hosted by Visit Israel and the Israel Ministry of Tourism. All opinions (and my love for Israel) are my own.
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Tahini and Pomegranate Roasted Eggplants
This dish is my very loose interpretation of an eggplant Shosana, the “Queen of Jam” and owner of “the Oldest House of Ein Karem” , served us during our afternoon at her home in the gorgeous hillside town just outside Jerusalem – known as the home of Mary’s well, and the birthplace of Saint John the Baptist.
Shoshana is a fabulous cook, well known poet, and legendary jam maker – but is also an outspoken advocate of Israel’s turn towards “slow tourism” – locals inviting tourists in their homes, gardens, and small businesses; where tourists are greeted with not just great food and goods – but amazing stories and a better connection to Israel as well.
How To Make Roasted Tahini Eggplants with Pomegranates
To make this recipe, you’ll need:
- Eggplants – eggplant is hearty, savory, and rich when roasted.
- Tahini – tahini is a paste of ground sesame seeds with a somewhat bitter flavor. Since this recipe uses so few ingredients, opt for a high quality tahina (tahini) instead of the ones you find in grocery stores in America. You’ll be blown away by the difference in flavor!
- Sumac – sumac is a citrussy herb common in Middle Eastern cooking. It has a bright, tangy taste that is perfect to break up the bitter flavor of tahini.
- Garlic – garlic has a pungeant, earthy flavor and ups the addictive quality of dishes. If you don’t like the spicy heat of raw garlic, you can use 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder instead.
- Pomegranates – pomegranates are sweet, tangy, and delicious with a bright appearance and juicy flavor, perfect to cut through the rich eggplant and tahini.
- Olive oil – olive oil is a rich and savory oil that has a bright flavor and briny taste, counteracting the bitter tahini.
Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, we will use the following process:
- Prep. Cut eggplants in half, including top and stem. Score inside of eggplants in a grid shape, taking care to not cut through flesh all the way through.
- Roast. Roast eggplants until browned and soft, about 35 minutes.
- Cut and dress. With a butter knife, cut through lines you scored in eggplant to release eggplant flesh from skin, it should be in clumps. Pour tahini, minced garlic, pomegranate seeds, sumac, and olive oil over eggplant. Top with chopped cilantro or mint.
Tips and Tricks to Perfect Roasted Eggplants with Tahini and Pomegranates
Use imported tahini. Since we’re using a lot more tahina (tahini) in this recipe than in baba ganoush, it is critical to use one with an amazing flavor. I personally prefer imported tahini from Lebanon or Israel.
Use high quality olive oil. Like the tahini, since we’re using few ingredients in this recipe, it’s important to use an olive oil with a lot of flavor – and a flavor you love. Use a high quality oil with a strong flavor here – this is not a recipe for a light, neutral flavor from extra virgin olive oil like you’d use in cooking.
Change up the spices. I love sumac over this recipe; but it’s Moroccan-Israeli inspiration also fits with Ras El Hanout (a complex and lovely Moroccan mixture of ginger, cardamom, mace, black pepper, anise, nutmeg, turmeric, and other spices); as well as Aleppo Pepper, Cayenne, Cumin, or even a pinch of bread dip spices!
Eggplant is done roasting when the skin is dark purple and lightly browned, with a shiny, oily looking appearance – indicating a lot of the water in the vegetable has cooked off. The eggplant will have reduced in size by half or more, and be browned and soft to the touch. It should turn a bit mushy, like applesauce, when pressed with a fork.
Leftovers can be kept in an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator for up to three days, however, we recommend not storing pomegranate arils for more than a day. This recipe has the best flavor when eaten within the same day, though it is safe to consume later.
These eggplants aren’t mixed like baba ganoush, and we’re using more eggplant than baba ganoush calls for – so while the flavors will be very similar, it is not the same as a baba ganoush recipe.
What to Serve With Roasted Eggplants With Tahini
To see more of our vegan and vegetarian recipes, check out some of our recent favorites below:
Roasted Tahini Pomegranate Eggplants
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- 2 large eggplants or 4 small eggplants
- 1/2 cup high quality tahini
- 1 teaspoon sumac
- 1/2 teaspoon celtic or kosher salt
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup pomegranate arils
- 2-3 garlic cloves, finely minced
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Wash eggplants well, removing any dirt. Cut eggplants in half, including top and stem. Score inside of eggplants in a grid shape, taking care to not cut through flesh all the way through.
- Lay eggplants on a baking sheet and roast in oven until browned and soft, about 35 minutes.
- When eggplant is soft and browned after about 35 minutes, remove from oven. Let cool until cool enough to hold comfortably.
- With a butter knife or spoon, cut through lines you scored in eggplant to release eggplant flesh from skin, it should be in clumps/chunks.
- Pour tahini, minced garlic, pomegranate seeds, sumac, and olive oil over eggplant. Top with chopped cilantro or mint and serve with crackers, vegetables, pita, or bread to dip!
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Maldon Salt, Sea Salt Flakes, 8.5 oz (240 g), Kosher, Natural, Handcrafted, Gourmet, Pyramid Crystals
Israeli Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Gift from the Holy Land (16.9 Oz)
Baron's Pure Tahini Sesame Paste | Rich Creamy Taste for Hummus, Dips & Baba Ghanoush | Kosher, All-Natural, Keto-Friendly Ground Seeds | Vegan, Non-GMO, Gluten- & Peanut-Free | 2 Jars of 16 Oz.
Beirut Tahini Sesame Paste 2 Lb (32 Oz)
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 308Total Fat 12gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 0mgSodium 131mgCarbohydrates 51gFiber 14gSugar 18gProtein 8g
Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.