Grilled Eggplant with Pomegranate Molasses and Buttermilk Dressing

From Gail Norton and Matthew Altizer

2014 Jul/Aug

Zaatar is a Middle Eastern spice blend of thyme, sesame seeds, sumac and other spices. It can be found, along with pomegranate molasses, at Middle Eastern and specialty food stores and at The Silk Road Spice Merchant. It lends a lovely nutty flavour.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large  eggplants
  • sea salt
  • 1/3 c. olive oil
  • 2 t. zaatar
  • 1/4 c. pomegranate molasses
  • handful of baby mint leaves
  • Sauce:
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk
  • 1/2 c. Greek yogurt
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat a grill over medium-high heat. Slice the eggplants lengthwise into 1/4-inch-wide strips leaving the green stalk attached. Sprinkle the eggplant strips generously with salt and set them in a colander to drain for at least 30 minutes while you prepare the sauce.

To make the sauce, using the side of your knife, crush the garlic clove into a paste with the salt. Put the garlic paste into a bowl and stir in the buttermilk and yogurt. Season to taste and set aside.

Brush the eggplant slices lightly with olive oil and grill them for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until they’re tender and starting to char. Remove the eggplant to a serving platter and drizzle with the sauce, followed by the zaatar, pomegranate molasses and mint leaves, and serve. Serves 4 to 6.