Eggplant is roasted until tender and caramelized then drizzled with a creamy garlic tahini sauce. This vegan veggie side dish recipe is perfect with chicken, pork, seafood or lamb.
Eggplant tends to be a controversial dish, but I for one love it! Creamy and delicious when cooked, and an excellent source of antioxidants and vitamins, this intimidating veggie deserves it’s chance to shine. And this recipe for Roasted Eggplant with Za’atar and Tahini sauce, is the perfect side dish to do just that.
- Eggplant: When eaten raw, eggplant has a somewhat bitter taste, but once cooked, the taste becomes more mild and rich, with almost a creamy texture.
- Olive Oil: My go to oil for cooking, it’s great for heart health, as well as having a lovely flavor.
- Za’atar: A traditional, middle eastern spice mix. It’s delicious, a bit tart, earthy, and nutty in flavor.
For the Sauce:
- Tahini: Another great middle eastern ingredient, made from toasted sesame seeds, it’s gluten free and is a major ingredient in hummus, baba ghanoush, and halva.
- Lemon Juice: The lovely citrus flavor adds some acidity to the sauce, as well as freshness.
- Garlic: Rich in antioxidants, the raw garlic adds a pungent nutty, spicy flavor.
- Salt: Just a pinch, to balance out the flavors.
- Cayenne Pepper: Optional, but if you’re a fan of spicy food, it adds a great kick to the sauce.
How to Make Roasted Eggplant with Tahini Sauce
You’ll start out by cutting your eggplant into cubes. I find it easiest to cut the edges off first, so that it’s kept flat against your cutting board.
Lay your cubed eggplant in a single layer onto a prepared sheet pan. I line mine with tin foil and spray it with cooking spray. If your eggplant doesn’t lay flat in a single layer, make sure you use more than one baking sheet. Next, drizzle it with the olive oil.
Season with some salt and pepper to taste.
And sprinkle with your za’atar. Gently toss to make sure that it is all evenly coated, then pop it into the oven at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until the eggplant is caramelized and browned. About halfway through, check it and give it a stir.
While your eggplant is roasting, get started on your tahini sauce. Begin by adding the tahini into a small to medium sized bowl.
Grate your garlic next, I always use my microplane.
Next, some freshly squeezed lemon juice and just a pinch of salt. If you want an extra kick, you’ll also add the cayenne pepper. Stir it all together.
If the sauce is too thick, slowly stir in the warm water to get it to the consistency of your liking.
Once the eggplant is done, take it out from the oven, and drizzle it with your tahini sauce. Serve, and enjoy!
Other Ways to Use Roasted Eggplant
Curious as to what else roasted eggplant is good for?
Roasted eggplant is great as a side dish, but the possibilities are endless. Many Mediterranean dishes use eggplant, and roasted eggplant is also great in wraps, salads, or tossed with pasta!
If you love eggplant like I do, here are some other recipes to try:
- Lebanese Eggplant Salad
- Grilled Vegetable Pasta
- Lebanese Baked Eggplant with Beef and Pine Nuts
- Turkish Eggplant Salsa
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do I store the leftovers?
In an airtight container or resealable bag, keep them in the fridge for 3-5 days.
What else can I use the tahini sauce with?
- Greek Lamb Chops with Tzatziki Sauce
- Grilled Chicken Shawarma
- Garlic Rosemary Lamb Chops
- Lebanese Chicken Tawook Bowls
Whether you’ve tried eggplant before or not, and whether or not you liked it, this Roasted Eggplant with Za’atar and Tahini sauce is worth trying.
Your fork is waiting.
Roasted Eggplant with Za’atar and Tahini Sauce
- Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Scatter eggplant cubes a single layer on baking sheet then drizzle with olive oil, za'atar, salt and pepper. Using hands, toss well to evenly coat eggplant in oil and spices.
- Roast eggplant until golden brown and caramelized, about 20-25 minutes, tossing once halfway through.
- While eggplant is roasting, whisk together the tahini garlic sauce in a small bowl. Continue whisking in warm water, one tablespoon at a time, until you've reached desired consistency. Serve roasted eggplant with tahini sauce drizzled on top or on the side for dipping.