November 16, 2022
Turkey is usually the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving feast, but this delectable plant-forward dish just might give it a run for its money.
Created by cookbook author and TV personality Eden Grinshpan (aka @edeneats), this combination of roasted eggplant, fresh dill, creamy yogurt, and tart pomegranate offers a bit of Middle Eastern flair for your holiday spread. Layered with rich flavors, hearty textures, and autumnal colors, even the vegetable-averse will be asking for seconds. Just try to save some room for pie.
“I can eat eggplant everyday…and sometimes I do! When roasted like this it is the perfect vessel for grains, salads, and all the condiments. The eggplant becomes so creamy and when you serve it right from the oven the cold yogurt and warm eggplant and rice are just so fun to eat. Serve this as the main or as the side but honestly, there are so many layers going on in this dish it will totally stand as the star of the table.” —Eden Grinshpan, aka @EdenEats
Yield: 4 servings
Total time: 1 hour
2 medium eggplants, sliced down the middle and insides scored
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, dry toasted in a pan for a few minutes until fragrant
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses, plus more to finish
1/2 cup full-fat greek yogurt or labneh
Pomegranate seeds, for garnish
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
For the walnut and dill rice:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 garlic clove
1 cup basmati rice, rinsed until clear (about 3 times)
2 cups water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted in the oven and roughly chopped, plus more for garnish
Zest and juice of one lemon
Preheat the oven to 375℉ and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
In a mortar and pestle, crush the toasted coriander seeds and then add in the 3 cloves of garlic. Smash until combined and then add in 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses, and season well with salt and pepper. Brush this mixture on the scored part of the eggplant, making sure to really cover. Place eggplant cut-side down on the parchment-lined sheet pan and roast at 375 for 25 minutes. Flip over and roast for another 35 minutes until eggplant is golden and soft in the middle.
While the eggplant is in the oven, make the rice. Sauté chopped onion with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds. Sauté the onions for 5 minutes until translucent and golden. Add in the garlic and sauté for a few more minutes. Add in the rinsed rice and mix well. Season with kosher salt, then add in 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid, and turn down the heat to a simmer. Let cook on low heat for 10 to 12 minutes. Turn off the heat and keep covered for a few minutes. Before serving, fluff with a fork and add the dill, walnuts, and juice and zest of one lemon. Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking.
Now, plate the dish. Place ½ cup of yogurt on a plate and top with roasted eggplant. Cover each piece of eggplant with the dill and walnut rice. Finish with a nice drizzle of pomegranate molasses, more walnuts, pomegranate seeds, and dill.
For more recipes from Eden, check out her website, follow her on Instagram, and explore her cookbook, Eating Out Loud.
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