Roasted Eggplant with Yogurt Sauce

Posted on by on December 16th, 2011 | 45 Comments »

I sat at my mothers kitchen table awaiting her arrival home from work, anxious, excited, giddy, ready to surprise her with my presence. I hadn’t been back to the states or seen my family since my move to Israel a year and a half ago and this reunion was long overdue. When she walked in the house and saw my husband and I sitting there with grins from ear to ear her first reaction was that she must be hallucinating. After glancing at my brother to get some reinforcement that what she was seeing was actually true, she broke down with excitement and my three week trip to New York started.

You would think that being gone for so long I would be bearing gifts from the holy land in great abundance, dead sea products, mezuzahs, evil eyes, stars of david, some earth from Jerusalem. But no, I brought with me my own idea of gifts. I unpacked a large bag filled with goods I couldn’t wait to share. Spices, chocolate, olive oil, silan, balsamic fig oil, Israeli wine, tahini, couscous mixes, pomegranates from my tree (ack don’t tell customs) even an Israeli cookbook. My gift was going to be a huge Middle Eastern feast for my family and friends.

Among the delicious foods I made to showcase the flavors of my new home were, beet kubbeh, potato bourekas, Moroccan carrots, fattoush salad, hummus, Moroccan chicken, pita, fresh lahoh, roasted eggplant with yogurt sauce (the recipe I am going to share with you in this post) tahini cookies and semolina cake.

I found this recipe in Bon Appetite magazine and adapted it into what has turned out to be one of my favorite eggplant dishes. With Middle Eastern flavors like sumac and za’atar and sprinkled with ruby red pomegranate seeds, it captures the taste of the Middle East perfectly.

Serve this as a side dish or a vegetarian main for those non carnivorous eaters at the table. And, for those looking for a special or unique dish for the Christmas table, you cannot go wrong with deep purple color of the eggplant topped with a white yogurt sauce sprinkled with green za’atar and red pomegranate seeds.

Ingredients (adapted from Bon Appetit)

For eggplant:
2 long eggplants
1⁄2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons za’atar
Juice of 1⁄2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

For yogurt sauce:
1 cup Greek yogurt
1⁄2 cup buttermilk
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 teaspoons sumac
salt and pepper to taste

For garnish:
Pomegranate seeds from 1⁄2 pomegranate
3 teaspoons sumac
3 teaspoons za’atar
olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a large baking sheet.
Cut eggplants in half lengthwise and using a sharp knife make a diamond shaped pattern in the eggplants flesh, taking care not to cut through the skin.
Place the eggplant halves on prepared baking sheet and brush with olive oil and lemon juice.
Sprinkle eggplant with za’atar and salt and pepper.
Roast eggplant for 45-50 minutes or until flesh is soft and browned.
Remove eggplant from oven and set aside to cool completely.
While eggplant is cooling, make the sauce.
In a bowl combine yogurt, buttermilk, garlic, sumac and salt and pepper, set aside.
Once eggplant is cooled top each half with yogurt sauce and sprinkle with sumac and za’tar.
Drizzle eggplant with olive oil and top with pomegranate seeds. Refrigerate until served.

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  1. Posted on: 12-16-2011

    Wow, Beth.. these eggplants lookn divine! I’d love them!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 12-18-2011

      Thanks Giulia!!

  2. Posted on: 12-16-2011

    So many goodies you brought with you from here to NY:)
    I love eggplant that way!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 12-18-2011

      Yes, I know! I was so eager to have my friends and family that havent been able to visit enjoy the flavors of Israel!

  3. Posted on: 12-17-2011

    Best eggplant dish EVER!!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 12-18-2011


  4. Posted on: 12-17-2011

    What a beautiful dish!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 12-18-2011

      Thanks Lindsay!

  5. Posted on: 12-18-2011

    These sound delicious! The pomegranate is a lovely addition!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 12-18-2011

      They are so delicious! The pomegranate gives it a little crunch and burst of tartness and sweetness. Its perfect.

  6. Posted on: 12-18-2011

    Looks exquisite!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 12-18-2011

      Thank you Angie!

  7. Posted on: 12-18-2011

    This is the most beautiful eggplant dish I’ve seen…stunning~

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 12-18-2011

      Thanks Liz! I also just love the way it looks, the colors are just perfect.

  8. Posted on: 12-18-2011

    Mmm I LOVE eggplant! This is (almost) too pretty to eat!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 12-18-2011

      Hahah almost too pretty 🙂

  9. Posted on: 12-18-2011

    I can imagine your mom’s reaction! Enjoy your time with family and friends Beth!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 12-18-2011

      Thanks Roxana, it was a great reaction she was so surprised!

  10. Posted on: 12-18-2011

    Your family must be so happy seeing you. As I live abroad apart from the rest of family, I almost cried reading your mom’s reaction. Enjoy your time with family Beth! This eggplant dish looks delicious. I always love eggplant but never tried with yogurt and I’m so curious to taste this. Yum!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 12-18-2011

      Yea, its hard living so far away from home, but it makes the time you get to spend with your family even that more special! I am back in Israel already! I was in NY for 3 weeks (hence the lack of blogging). It was a wonderful trip!

  11. Posted on: 12-18-2011

    Hi Beth Ann-

    Found you when you commented in my blog. So glad you stopped by because now I can go through your gorgeous blog!

    This has to be the most gorgeous eggplant dish I’ve ever seen!

  12. Posted on: 12-18-2011

    LOL! Beth Michelle. My Step daughters name is Beth Ann and that is what I automatically wrote. Sorry

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 12-18-2011

      So glad that I found your site, I just love it! No worries about writing Beth Ann, I can imagine its just second nature for you!

  13. Posted on: 12-18-2011

    Oh my! This looks delicious…. I’ll have to try it out.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 12-18-2011

      Yes, I hope you do try it! It is so delicious!

  14. Posted on: 12-18-2011

    Beautiful, festive idea Beth Michelle (and I just love the photos!)

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 1-2-2012

      Thanks Kelly!!

  15. Posted on: 12-19-2011

    I like roasted eggplants, but the sauce addition does bring them to a whole new delicious taste level. Love the ingredients in the sauce-thanks for sharing this winner of a recipe!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 1-2-2012

      The sauce may seem a bit odd paired with roasted eggplant, but it really works. So, if you love roasted eggplant you should definitely try this!

  16. Posted on: 12-19-2011

    You have a beautiful blog! I love reading your food and life journey. Enjoy your time with family!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 1-2-2012

      Thank you so much Ana! So glad you enjoy!

  17. Posted on: 12-19-2011

    This looks delicious, can’t wait to try it!!!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 1-2-2012

      Thanks Meghan, hope you enjoy it as much as we did!!

  18. Posted on: 12-20-2011

    I can see why that is your favorite way to serve eggplant. I haven’t seen it prepared that way before, but I am drooling at the thought. The yogurt sauce sounds delicious.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 1-2-2012

      I never thought to pair yogurt sauce with eggplant but it works so well! Hope you get to try it for yourself so you can droll over a real dish of it instead of photos!

  19. Posted on: 12-21-2011

    These do look just heavenly…and your writing is sublime. I just picked up several eggplants so I’m eager to give this recipe a try. Thank you for sharing!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 1-2-2012

      Thank you so much! I do hope you create this dish with your eggplant!! Enjoy!

  20. Posted on: 12-22-2011

    This is such a unique recipe that I would have never EVER thought of on my own–I’m so excited to try it!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 1-2-2012

      Thanks Dora! I hope you do get to try it!!

  21. Posted on: 12-31-2011

    Oh my goodness! This looks like it’s straight out of a scene from Like Water for Chocolate!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 1-2-2012

      !!!! Love that movie, havent seen it in ages and so want to dl it right now to watch!

  22. Posted on: 1-2-2012

    Wow. What a unique combination!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 1-2-2012

      The uniqueness makes it even that much better!!

  23. Posted on: 1-21-2012

    I roasted eggplant and your delicious yoghurt combo makes it ultra mediterranean 😀

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