April 30, 2011

Tonight's DRD: Eggplant, Yogurt and Sesame

You know the scenario well. You open your fridge, and while it seems to be full of food, there's not much in there that you can put together in a meal. That's when it comes time for mixing and matching, which is exactly what I did to create this really delicious meal. When I looked in the fridge, I had an eggplant, half a zucchini, some greens and some yogurt. I saw and avocado on the table and some big yellow lemons, and with that I started to put together a dinner.

If you've never had eggplant with yogurt, now is the time. The creamy richness of the eggplant is cut through by tangy yogurt, and topped with some fresh zucchini, red onion and toasted sesame seeds, you really can't beat it. Mix and match that with a side of some quartered avocado, homemade hummus, fresh greens, a little feta and a piece of toasted bread. That's a mix and match meal you simply cannot resist. 

Recipe below.

Eggplant with Sesame and Yogurt Dressing

Serves 2-4

This goes great on a sandwich the next day.

-1 large eggplant, sliced into half inch rounds
-2 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for sautéing
-1/2 cup plain yogurt (preferably Greek style)
-1 teaspoon lemon zest
-juice of half a lemon
-1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
-1 tablespoon sesame seeds
-1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
-1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
-1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
-salt and pepper

1. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add a thick layer (1/8 inch) of olive oil and let heat. Add as many eggplant slices as will fit in a single layer and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, until lightly browned, and then flip and cook another few minutes until cooked through. As the eggplant cooks, it will soak up a lot of the oil. Add more oil as necessary to ensure the eggplant does not brown. Remove the eggplant to a plate covered with a paper towel. Repeat with the remaining eggplant.

2. To make the yogurt dressing, in a medium bowl mix together the yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice, chili flakes, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking.

3. Heat a small sauté pan on medium heat. Add the sesame seeds to the dry pan and toast, tossing frequently, until lightly browned and fragrant, about 2 minutes.

4. Spread out the eggplant on a large plate or platter. Top with the slices of raw zucchini and onion. Drizzle on the dressing, and top with sesame seeds and parsley. Serve at once.