A roast doesn’t have to be made with meat! This roast is inspired by the concept of a meaty roast as well as the eggplant dip, baba ghanoush. The result is basically deconstructed baba ghanoush! But it looks and acts as a roast that you carve. How’s that for a vegan dish with wow! Make it the edible centerpiece at your table and serve it to four as an appetizer. Or, for heartier appetites, enjoy as an entrée for two, pairing it with a protein rich side, like roasted chickpeas. Whichever way you plan to serve this veggie-centric dish, it’ll be a showstopper at your next Meatless Monday dinner, holiday gathering, or other special meal.
middle eastern eggplant roast
Yield: 4 servings
Serving size: 1/4 eggplant (as appetizer)
- 1 large (1 1/4-pound) eggplant
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- Juice of 1 lemon (3 tablespoons) + 4 lemon wedges
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced or creamed
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (divided)
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves or microgreens
- 12 grape tomatoes, fresh or pan-charred
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts, pan-toasted
- Grill or broil eggplant, turning occasionally, until the skin is just lightly charred, about 6 minutes. Then bake uncovered in 450°F oven until the eggplant is fully cooked and has an extra-soft texture, about 35 to 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together until creamy the tahini, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the garlic, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, the cumin, and cold filtered water (about 1 tablespoon) until desired saucy consistency is reached.
- Transfer the eggplant to a small platter. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste. Top with desired amount of the tahini sauce. Garnish with the parsley or microgreens, tomatoes, and pine nuts. Adjust seasoning.
- Serve warm with the remaining tahini sauce and lemon wedges on the side.
Per serving (as appetizer): 200 calories, 16g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 310mg sodium, 16g total carbohydrate, 5g dietary fiber, 6g total sugars includes 0g added sugars, 5g protein
The “Before” Version
Inspired by all american roast beef
Per serving: 480 calories, 32g total fat, 13g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 140mg cholesterol, 270mg sodium, 0g total carbohydrate, 0g dietary fiber, 0g total sugars includes 0g added sugars, 45g protein
- Be a rule breaker! Consider using a large vegetable, such as eggplant, as a stand in for meat. The result can be surprisingly scrumptious!
- For culinary intrigue, bring in elements of your heritage or favorite worldly flavors.
- Play to everyone’s senses by adding pops of color and texture, like with tomatoes, fresh parsley, and toasted pine nuts.