Leave it to the grillmasters at Williams-Sonoma to compile a book of summer recipes that are smoky, packed with flavor and charred in all the right places. Brush up on your grilling skills or simply take some inspiration from Grill School’s wide array of ideas from all over the world.
If you like Middle Eastern food, try this easy grilled eggplant dish. Fanning out the eggplants on the serving plate makes a stunning presentation. Tahini gives the dish some creaminess, and pomegranate seeds bring sweet crunch and color.
The tahini sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week. Drizzle any extra sauce on grilled fish, lamb, or vegetables.
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water, plus more as needed
- 1 large clove garlic
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more as needed
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 4 Japanese eggplants
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
For the eggplants
Heat the grill for medium-high direct heat (400°-450°F).
In a food processor, combine the tahini, water, garlic, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the oil, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and the cumin and process until a very smooth puree forms, 1-2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add more water and/or lemon juice 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed, to make a thick yet pourable sauce.
Starting at the blossom end, cut each eggplant lengthwise into slices 1/4-1/2 inch thick, cutting all the way down into the stem end but not through it, so the slices can be fanned out from the stem. Place the eggplants on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush all the cut sides and the outsides with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and then sprinkle all of the cut sides and the outsides with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Brush the grill grate and coat with oil. Using tongs, fan out the eggplants on the grate and cook, turning once, until tender and grill marked, 3-4 minutes per side. The eggplants will fan out more easily as they cook and soften. Remove the eggplants from the grill.
Spread a generous amount of the tahini sauce on the bottom of a platter. Arrange the fanned eggplants over the sauce and drizzle with a little more sauce. Garnish with the pomegranate seeds and serve with the remaining sauce.