Contains: Gluten, nightshades. Is: Vegetarian, vegan.
This is a recipe I made in order to create something for a Cookingbites recipe challenge. The ingredient to be used was tahini. So, here’s a sauce, and the meal I created to use it on. I made up the sauce – there’s lots of lemon-tahini sauces out there, and there is baba ganoush which mixes in the tahini WITH the eggplant – but hey, let’s try something a bit different. And I happen to love eggplant (also known in much of the English-speaking world as aubergine),
I chose to serve this with farro – you could certainly use quinoa, rice, or whatever other grain or pseudo-grain fits your fancy. Just start with half a cup of whatever it is, and follow the instructions on the package for making it appropriately. Pasta would also work.
You will have more tahini sauce than you will need for this recipe. A little does go a long way – but it will be tasty in or on other dishes you might make. (Or, cut the sauce portion of this recipe in half…)
Prep Time: 5 – 10 minutes. (“Soak” eggplant with salt as the farro cooks)
Cook Time: Farro – approximately 40 minutes, but check your package. Eggplant: about 10-15 minutes.
Rest Time: Not needed.
Cuisine: Mediterranean/Middle-Eastern – inspired.
Leftovers: Certainly. To use the leftover sauce, bring to room temperature or lightly warm in the microwave or in a skillet, as it will thicken markedly in the fridge.
Eggplant / Aubergine with Farro and Pomegranate Molasses Tahini Sauce
- 1/2 cup farro
- 1 medium to large European-style eggplant.
- Salt for the eggplant prep process. (And 1/4 teaspoon for the farro.)
- 1.5 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 1 scallion/green onion, chopped (garnish)
- 6 tablespoons tahini.
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar reduction.
Start with the farro or whatever grain/pseudo-grain you plan to use. Rinse farro with water, and use your half cup of farro. For this farro, I matched it with 1.5 cups of water and set it to cook in the rice cooker, on regular setting. You can also do the same thing with a cooktop pot, lightly covered. If you use other grains or pseudo-grains, follow package instructions. I also added 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt to this.
Then, slice the eggplant longitudinally about 1/4 – 1/3 inch thick, discarding the stem and the outer peel slices. You will end up with something like 4-6 slices from the interior. Set them in a vessel to which you will sprinkle copious salt on both sides. Allow to sit for 20-30 minutes, to draw off excess liquid and bitterness.
You can also make the sauce at this point. In a very small bowl, mix the tahini, pomegranate molasses and the balsamic reduction together. Set aside.
Rinse the soaked eggplant to remove excess salt.
When the farro or other component of the meal is nearly ready, prepare to pan fry the eggplant steaks. Place the cooking oil in the skillet, raise to medium high, add the eggplant slices. Season each side with the oregano and ground pepper. Cook about five minutes per side, or until done to your satisfaction.
Remove and plate with the farro. Add the tahini sauce, a little for now (you can always add more at the table). Garnish with the green onions. Sit back and enjoy.