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Charred eggplant with caramelized onions, tahini, tzatziki, and pita

Charred eggplant with caramelized onions, tahini, tzatziki, and pita


This mezze-style platter brings together many of our favorite Middle Eastern snacks. It could serve double duty as an appetizer spread for a casual dinner party or stand on its own for the perfect light summer meal.


  • 1 large globe eggplant
  • Medium yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Small bunch cilantro
  • 1 cucumber
  • Lemon
  • Fresh mint
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • 2 whole-wheat pita



Prep the eggplant

Line a sheet pan with a double layer of paper towels and sprinkle the towel with salt. Cut the eggplant into ½-inch thick half-moon slices. Lay the eggplant slices in an even layer on top of the salt, and then sprinkle more salt on top of the eggplant. Let stand to draw out excess moisture.
  • Peel and slice the onion.
  • Finely chop the garlic.
  • Chop the cilantro.


Cook the onions

In a 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons oil until hot but not smoking. Add the onions and half the garlic, season with salt, and cook until the onions are well caramelized, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
While the onion and garlic cooks, prepare the tzatziki and the tahini sauce.


Make the tzatziki; make the tahini sauce

  • Slice the cucumber into ¼-inch half moons.
  • Zest and juice the lemon.
  • Chop the mint.
In a bowl, combine the cucumber slices, half the mint, the zest, half the lemon juice, the yogurt and the remaining garlic. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
In a small bowl, combine the tahini with the remaining lemon juice and 2 tablespoons water. Season with salt and stir to combine.


Cook the eggplant

In the same pan used to cook the onions, warm 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Cook the eggplant, in batches if necessary, until well browned, about 3 minutes on each side. Add the onions to the pan with eggplant along with 2 tablespoons water, the remaining mint, the cilantro and sumac, and cook until warmed through, about 3 minutes.


Heat the pita

If you have a gas stove, carefully warm the pita over a hot burner until lightly browned. Otherwise, toast it in a toaster.



Transfer the warm eggplant and onions to serving plates with the tahini sauce. Serve the tzatziki and pita alongside.
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