Friday, August 30, 2013

Grilled Eggplant with Chile Sauce and Tahini

There are a couple great aspects of this recipe. First, it makes a satisfying, meatless meal. And, second, the chile sauce is so incredibly smooth and highly flavorful that I can see it working well not only in this dish but certainly on meats or even in pasta. And if you were ever looking for a recipe that utilizes  bunches of fresh mint, other than mojitos of course, this is it. (Speaking of mojitos, here's a classic mojito recipe, if you're so inclined.) The original version of this recipe features eggplant charred in the oven. While I'm a big fan of charred anything, especially eggplant, I opted for grilling them only because it takes less time and summer is the time for grilling. 

Grilled Eggplant with Chile Sauce and Tahini
(Adapted from Saveur)
Serves 2-4

2 small italian eggplant
2 cups cilantro leaves, chopped
1 cup mint leaves, chopped
1 cup olive oil (plus 2 - 3 tbsp for the eggplant)
1/4 cup honey
6 garlic cloves
1 serrano chile, stemmed and seeded
zest and juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
6 boiled eggs, halved
1/2 cup tahini

1. Heat the grill. Slice each eggplant in four, lengthwise. Brush each slice on both sides with a generous amount of olive oil. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until tender, with nice grill marks. Remove from grill and season with salt and pepper.
2. Puree the cilantro, mint, olive oil, honey, garlic, chile, lemon zest and juice, until smooth.
3. Serve the  grilled eggplant slices together with boiled eggs, topping them generously with the chile sauce and tahini.