This dish is called eggplant carpaccio in upscale restaurants. Plain folks call it eggplant and tahini salad. It would have been nice to make this dish for some Passover meal, but that sesame is, for some obscure reason, officially kitnyot. So I made it for Shabbat. I watched a Jerusalem chef make it and learned how to make this vegetarian folk dish that’s layered with Middle Eastern flavors.
Eggplant with Techina
serves 2-4 as an appetizer
1 large or two medium eggplants
1/4 lemon to squeeze
salt & pepper
optional: 2 Tbslp. yogurt, beaten with fork till smooth
1 Tblsp. silan date syrup, or more if needed
2 Tblsp. techina per eggplant if medium-sized; 4 Tblsp. if large
Start by charring the eggplant. I’ve made this dish grilling the eggplant in the oven, but the charred taste is essential to the authentic taste. True, it’s a bit messy, but all good things emerge from a mess.
Use a tongs to turn the eggplant this way and that.
Make sure to char the eggplant all over, including the ends. Press a little with the tongs or a fork – when the whole vegetable yields softly, it is ready.
Remove the eggplants to a cool plate and get a small bowl of water ready. When the veg is just cool enough to handle by its cap end, wet your fingers and pick off the charred peel. (Couldn’t take a photo of myself doing that.)
Lay the eggplant down again and press a fork through the flesh, make striations along its length. This allows the vegetable to receive the flavorings, and looks pretty.
Squeeze some lemon juice over the surface.
Sprinkle cumin, salt and pepper over it.
Drizzle it up and down its length with techinah.
For a dairy meal, criss-cross the surface with a trail of yoghurt.
Last step, drizzle it with date syrup, or lacking that, honey diluted with water. You want only a little sweetness. Drizzle from side to side, or diagonally, so that it makes a pretty pattern.
Eat while its still warm, if possible. Delicious.