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Author Notes: My mom makes a version of this meze (appetizer) every friday. She roasts and then slightly chars eggplants or eggplant slices in the oven and then immediately marinates them in a garlic, lemon cilantro dressing. The longer it sits, the better it is! Eat it cold, warm, in a pita, on its own, or over labane, as I love to do. —Danielle Oron
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
- 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Eggplants and plating
- 5-6 small Indian eggplants or 1 large eggplant
- olive oil
- 2 cups labane or greek yogurt
- Sumac, garnish (optional)
- To make the marinade, mix the ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
- If using small eggplants, slice them in half lengthwise. If using a large eggplant, cut into 1/2" rounds.
- Place eggplants on a lined baking sheet or cutting board with paper towel. Salt the cut side generously. If using a large eggplant, salt both cut sides of the slices. The salt will pull out some of the moisture and bitterness from the eggplant. Let sit for 20 minutes. Pat them dry.
- Pre-heat oven to 400˚F. Line a sheet pan with tin foil for easy clean up.
- Slather or brush the olive oil over the cut sides of the eggplant. Oil the sheet pan as well and place the eggplants on the pan. Cut side up if you’re using the small indian eggplants.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Turn the oven up to broil (high) and char the eggplant slightly. About 3-4 minutes. Watch them so that they don’t burn too much!
- Dress the eggplants hot out of the oven with the lemon garlic marinade. Use all of the it!
- Marinate the eggplant for at least 30 minutes. This can be made a day ahead and left in the fridge to marinate. It actually tastes better that way!
- Using the back of a spoon, smear the labane or yogurt on a large plate creating a well of sorts for the eggplant to sit in. Arrange the eggplant on top nicely. Garnish with a bit of sumac. Enjoy!