Iranian-Inspired Eggplant Mezze

Eggplant lovers, jump to the recipe.  Eggplant haters, bear with me for a second. 

I have a story that might help you see eggplants in a different light. 

As a child, they were always around. My family loved them, but I was disgusted by their texture, especially by eggplant dips and fried eggplants.  

When I was in 11th grade a friend of mine offered me one of his sandwiches. His mother prepared them so he didn’t know what she put in it. He said “it’s probably hummus” and went back to his classroom. Now I know what hummus tastes like and that white spread was definitely not hummus. The flavor was unfamiliar and weird but smoky and sweet. Tasty.

Later, when I saw my friend at recess I told him that the sandwich was good but it wasn’t hummus. He said “Oh yes, it was baba ganoush”. “What? No way! I don’t like baba ganoush, I don’t eat eggplants.”  “I guess you do now.”

The key is to continue trying, and eventually you will fall for them. Especially if you’re vegan, because they are meaty and rich. 

I adapted the recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, The Bottom of The Pot by Naz Deravian. I don’t know what I enjoy more, her writing or her recipes, both poetic and rich.

Iranian-Inspired Eggplant Mezze

Simple but rich dip to serve as a mezze in a dinner party or for eat for lunch or snack.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Appetizer, Mezze, Side Dish
Cuisine: Middle Eastern, Plant-based
Keyword: mezze, Plant-Based
Servings: 4 as an appetizer
Author: Shelly
Cost: $3

Ingredients

  • Avocado or olive oil
  • 2 medium filipino - sliced in half lengthwise – or regular eggplants*
  • 1 medium onion - diced small
  • 2-3 garlic cloves - sliced
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon dried meat or any dry herb
  • 1 handful walnuts - chopped
  • Plant-based yogurt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400F° (200C°).
  • Brush the flesh of the eggplants in olive oil and place them on a baking tray. Sprinkle over them a little bit of salt and roast until the eggplants are very tender, about for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, warm about 3-4 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and stir often. Lower the heat if necessary, don’t let them brown too fast. Cook for 8 minutes then add the dried mint. Continue to cook and stir until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Set a side.
  • Let the eggplant cool down then using a spoon, spoon their flesh and put into the skillet (if you used regular eggplants*, then put their meat into a colander, to drain the liquids). Mash them with the spoon a bit and mix with the onion and garlic. Taste and correct seasoning.
  • Serve in a deep plate the chopped walnuts sprinkled over and a spoonful of yogurt.
  • Eat with good bread or as a side.

Leave a Reply