Aubergine (or eggplant) is one of my absolute favourite vegetables. Typically when I put out an aubergine dish for mezze it’s sliced into rather large rounds. These Indian (or baby) aubergines are quick to roast, easy to eat, and of course make a beautiful presentation on the plate.
I am always sure to ‘sweat’ my aubergine / eggplant before I roast it – thus removing any traces of bitterness. Slice and salt your aubergine liberally, leave to sit for a half an hour or so – then rinse and dry before applying any oil or seasoning and roasting.
This recipe can easily be adapted to a completely vegan dish if agave nectar or maple syrup is used in place of honey. For this recipe I used my favourite harissa from NY Shuk, as well as their rose harissa dry spice to finish. If you can’t find dry harissa to top this dish with a combination of dried ground sumac and Aleppo pepper flakes works perfectly as well – and if you don’t have those either, a spicy or smoky paprika works great, too.
Roasted Indian Aubergine with Harissa Glaze
- 8 Indian (or baby) aubergine
- 2 Tbsp kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp harissa paste I recommend NY Shuk's harissa
- 1 Tbsp honey or maple syrup Agave nectar can also be used
- 2 Tbsp tahina sauce (see recipe below)
- 2 Tbsp flat leaf parsley leaves, torn
- 2 Tbsp pomegranate arils
- pinch sumac, Aleppo pepper, or dry harissa seasoning (optional) for garnish
- First, slice your aubergines lengthwise. Lay skin side down on a plate and sprinkle the cut tops of the aubergine with the kosher salt. Let sit for 20-30 minutes to allow the bitterness to sweat from the aubergines. After this, rinse the aubergines and dry them.
- Preheat your oven to 425° Fahrenheit. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper and oil lightly with a high heat oil.
- Mix the harissa and honey (or maple syrup) and brush the tops of each aubergine with the harissa glaze.
- Roast for 30 minutes or so, checking in the last ten minutes to ensure they do not burn.
- When fully cooked, remove from the oven and dress with tahina, parsley leaves, pomegranate arils, and sprinkle with either dry harissa seasoning, or a mixture of sumac and Aleppo pepper flakes.
The Perfect Tahini Sauce
- Food processor or blender
- 6 whole cloves fresh garlic
- juice of two lemons ¼ cup (60ml)
- ½ cup good tahina
- ½ tsp honey can be replaced with agave to ensure it is vegan
- ¼ cup ice water (60ml)
- ¼ tsp salt to taste
- Juice your lemons and peel your garlic cloves. Add to the bowl of your food processor or blender.
- Blitz the lemon juice and garlic until it forms a thick liquid. Leave to sit for 15 minutes.
- Pour the lemon garlic liquid through a mesh strainer, into a small bowl. (Use this pureed garlic for another recipe!)
- Rinse the bowl of your food processor and then return the lemon juice to the bowl. Add tahini, honey, and salt.
- Blend until it forms a thick paste, then add water, a tablespoon at a time, until you have a pourable tahini / tahina sauce.