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Roasted Eggplant with Buttermilk Sauce

July 18, 2014
by Cornelia Emlen
Serves: 4
One of those dishes you make again and again. Great as a main dish or as a side. Adapted from Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 1+ tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped, plus several whole sprigs to garnish
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 pomegranate (you can substitute other fresh berries or fruit like red currants)
  • 1 teaspoon za’atar (Middle Eastern spice blend available at many coops and markets)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup plain yogurt (whole or Greek)
  • tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed or pressed
  • salt, to taste
Famers To You Ingredients:
Other Fresh and Pantry Ingredients:
  • olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper, pomegranate (or other colorful and sweet/tart fruit or berry), za’atar, garlic
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Cut eggplants in half lengthways, cutting through the green stalk – this is for aesthetics only as you don’t eat the stalk.
  3. Using a sharp knife, create a diamond pattern by cutting intersecting parallel lines into the cut side of each of the eggplant halves. Careful not to cut all the way through the skin.
  4. Place eggplant halves with their cut-side up, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Combine olive oil and lemon juice and brush eggplants with the mixture until it has all been absorbed by the flesh. Sprinkle with chopped thyme and salt and pepper, to taste. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes. When done, the flesh should be soft and browned. Remove from the oven. Let cool.
  6. While the eggplants are cooking, make the sauce by combining buttermilk, yogurt, olive oil, garlic and salt.
  7. When ready to serve, spoon a generous quantity of the buttermilk sauce over the eggplant halves without covering the stalks. Sprinkle za’atar, a drizzle of olive oil and pomegranate seeds (or other tart and colorful berry/fruit) on top. Garnish with thyme.