Modern Israeli cuisine is having a major moment in the fine dining sphere. Highlighting extra-flavorful vegetable preparations and simply prepared meats, it’s one of the most popular ways to eat healthfully. Pick up a copy of The Palomar Cookbook, a collection of recipes from the award-winning London restaurant and try their burned eggplant with tahini tonight!
You can think of this as a deconstructed baba ganoush. To get the maximum flavor from the eggplant it’s best to char them over an open flame on the burner or on a charcoal barbecue.
- 2 eggplants
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus an extra drizzle to garnish
- 4 tablespoons white tahini sauce
- 4 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
- Handful chopped fresh cilantro
White Tahini Sauce (makes 2 1/4 cups)
- 1 cup tahini paste
- 3/4 - 1 cup ice-cold water
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- salt, to taste
For the tahini sauce
Spoon the tahini paste into a bowl, add the water gradually and beat constantly with a whisk. At first the tahini will become denser (don’t panic!) and then it will start to loosen up. Stop when you hit the texture you like.
Add the lemon juice and salt to taste. You can keep the sauce refrigerated, tightly covered with plastic wrap, for up to 2 days (it gets a bit thicker in the fridge).
For the eggplant
Prick the eggplant in several places with the tip of a sharp knife so that they won’t explode in your face and make a mess in the kitchen. Char the skin of the eggplant on all sides over an open flame on the burner or hot charcoal on a barbecue, turning every 5–6 minutes — the skin needs to harden up and get a bit crispy. There is a third option: set your grill to the highest setting and roast the eggplant in the closest position to the heat source, turning in the same way.
Arrange the whole burned eggplant on a serving plate, then season to taste with salt and pepper and dress with the lemon juice and olive oil.
Drizzle the White Tahini Sauce on top, sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and the chopped cilantro and drizzle with a little more olive oil. You can keep the peeled eggplant in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2–3 days and then, when you want to serve, simply heat them up and add your garnishes.