Eggplant with Buttermilk-Garlic Sauce

eggplant with buttermilk - final 4

… yes, another Ottolenghi recipe. I’m obsessed! I have a million other cookbooks, but not long ago I added three by this genius to my collection, and it’s been such a well of inspiration. I’m in love with the way he combines flavors, and this eggplant dish was no exception.eggplant with buttermilk - final

This dish decorates the cover of Ottolenghi’s seminal Plenty. It’s easy to see why, with that range of hues. Turns out it tastes delicious as well!

We had a Mediterranean-themed potluck at work today. I was able to make the buttermilk sauce last night (and whop the pomegranate seeds from their mother orb) and reserve the bowl in the fridge for chilling. The eggplants I roasted this morning—thankfully they’re to be served cool!

Perfect for food photos, perfect for potlucks. I’m sure you can find other happy results in your own kitchen!

Eggplant with Buttermilk-Garlic Sauce (adapted from Ottolenghi’s Plenty)
Serves 6 to 8 as starter or side.

Ingredients
For the eggplant:
3 eggplant
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon-thyme, divided
Salt & pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons za’atar
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (see extraction method here)

For the buttermilk sauce:
12 oz. buttermilk
2/3 cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt & pepper (to taste)
1 clove garlic, crushed

Method:
1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the buttermilk sauce. Chill in the fridge for at least oen hour.
2. Preheat the oven to 400. Halve the eggplants. In each half, make 3 to 4 parallel incisions. Cut 45-degree angle lines between each incision to form a diamond-pattern (see picture above).
3. Brush the eggplant halves with olive oil until all oil is absorbed into eggplant. Season with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with 1/2 tablespoon of lemon thyme. Roast in oven for 40—50 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Remove from oven when flesh is soft and well-browned. Let cool completely.
4. To serve: Drizzle butter milk sauce over the cooled eggplant halves. Top with remaining lemon thyme, za’atar, and pomegranate seeds.

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