Admittedly this is not the most healthiest of recipes, but who can resist the creaminess of fried eggplant? Lately I’ve been on an eggplant kick trying all different ways of including it into our meals. It’s amazing how many world cuisines regularly use this super versatile veggie. My love was made even stronger by my latest trip to Turkey since you can find eggplant in just about every restaurant in all shapes and forms. My favorite dish was made with probably the most unhealthy preparation of all – fried.
At home, I’m always struggling to use the least amount of oil possible with eggplant to keep things healthy. But lets face it, eggplant loves oil. The more oil, the more creamy the insides become and the more I love this humble vegetable. However, therein lies the unfortunate struggle and sometimes you just have to go all out and think only about flavor! This is one of those flavor recipes. Please tell me I’m not the only one that has these dilemmas!
Other than the oil, the rest of this dish is deliciously healthy. The yogurt tahini sauce goes perfectly with the creamy eggplant and the tomato salsa on top gives you a little sharpness to cut through the creaminess of this dish. It’s perfect served when warm, but if you have the restraint to make this in advance, it still tastes delicious at room temp.
What’s your favorite way of cooking eggplant?
Fried Eggplant with Tahini Yogurt Sauce
- 2 large eggplants
- 2-3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 small ripe tomatoes, very small dice
- 1/4 cup parsley leaves, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup greek yogurt
- 1/8 cup tahini
- 2 tsp white wine vinegar
- 1/8 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp dried sumac
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
Peel the eggplant in alternating strips from top to bottom creating a zebra effect. Slice the eggplant crosswise and then slice each half lengthwise to create thin wedges. Place in a large bowl and sprinkle with the kosher salt. Toss so everything is evenly covered and set aside for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare the salsa and sauce. In a small bowl, mix together the diced tomatoes, chopped parsley and salt. Set aside.
In another small bowl, combine the yogurt, tahini and white wine vinegar. Mix together until you have a smooth consistency. Set aside.
The eggplant should now have released some of its liquid. Drain and rinse the slices well under cold water. Place on a paper towel to dry. Make sure the slices are thoroughly dried to avoid spitting during frying.
Heat a heavy bottomed skillet on medium-high heat. Add the 1/8 cup of vegetable oil and let it get hot for a minute or so. Once the oil is heated, carefully place 1/2 of the eggplant slices in a single layer into the pan. Cook for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon or tongs and place on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil. Repeat the process with the remaining eggplant.
Arrange the eggplant on a platter and top with the tomato salsa, leaving the liquid behind. Drizzle with the yogurt tahini sauce and sprinkle with the sumac and sesame seeds. Serve while warm.
If you are eating this later, wait to top with the salsa, sauce, sumac and sesame seeds until just before serving to avoid sogginess. Serves 4.