The Sauce: Buttermilk Sauce – Tangy buttermilk and yogurt sauce with garlic oozes into diamond-cut roasted eggplant halves.
‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’
Eggplant sounds exotic in French: aubergine (oh’-ber-zheen). On the other hand one must travel must farther east for the inspiration for this dish. Think of roasted Baba Ghannouj with za’atar and pomegranate jewels. A creamy buttermilk and yogurt sauce with the blush of tzatziki, is spooned over and soaks into the crevices of the roasted eggplant. Each bite has a few pomegranate seeds that pop open to release their bright red juice. Eggplant never had it so good.
Recipe: Aubergine with Buttermilk Sauce
Active Time: 8 Minutes | Total Time: 50 Minutes | Yield: 6 Servings
3 1-lb aubergines (eggplant)
5 Tbsp olive oil, divided plus more for serving
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, plus extra sprigs for garnish
freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp za’atar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 small garlic clove, minced or microplaned
Special Equipment – baking sheet, small bowl
1 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2 Cut the eggplants in half
lengthwise and place on a baking sheet skin side down. Make 1-inch cross hatch incisions without piercing the skin. Brush with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with thyme leaves and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until flesh is soft and deep golden brown, about 40-45 minutes.
3 Meanwhile combine buttermilk, yogurt, garlic and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small bowl. Season with a pinch of salt to taste. Set in the fridge until serving.
4 To serve, spoon buttermilk sauce over each eggplant half, sprinkle with za’atar and lots of pomegranate seeds. Garnish with sprigs of thyme.
-This dish is a nod to the flavors of Baba Ghannouj, an Mediterranean eggplant dip.
-Add a few toasted pine nuts, if desired.
-Serve as a side dish.
-Use 6 Japanese eggplants and serve as an appetizer.
- Exchange bulbous eggplant for skinny Japanese eggplant.
Inspiration – Yotam Ottolenghi
Cook with Sauces
Aubergine with Buttermilk Sauce
Written by Helen Horton
Recipe Tester for The Washington Post
Photography and Styling by Helen Horton
Updated: September 14, 2014