A wonderfully earthy, herby, and Zesty roasted eggplant recipe. This vegan dish is so full of flavors even meat-eaters will fall in love with it!
Eggplant is one of the most versatile foods you have in your arsenal as a chef. This is why it's one of our favorites! It is used in tons of Middle Eastern recipes either as an appetizer, a salad, a dip (such as Mutabal or Baba Ghanoosh), or a meatier vegetable side that you can pair with any protein or even act as a substitute for the protein itself.
Depending on how you cook it, the texture of eggplant changes. Some recipes tend to make the eggplant a bit mushy, which can cause some consumers to stay away from it.
But when roasted, it's got this nice crispiness to it, especially around the edges. And when you season it with something as tasty as za'atar, you get a simple yet incredibly flavorful dish.
If you aren't a fan of eggplant, this za'atar roasted eggplant recipe just might be the one that changes your mind.
How to Make Za'atar Roasted Eggplant
There are a couple of ways to make za'atar roasted eggplant. In this guide, we actually provide two ways you can go about this.
The first one, which we'll be talking about momentarily, is the most basic way to do a za'atar roasted eggplant. This is a great recipe if you want a flavor bomb that you can make in under 30 minutes. It's great as an everyday meal that you can take with you to work.
The second option is also a pretty quick and easy recipe, but this time we really wanted to kick the flavors up a notch. It combines two of our favorite Middle Eastern condiments (za'atar and tahini), which we'll also talk about a little bit later. This recipe is perfect if you want something easy to make with a bit more oomph to it that'll really impress a guest.
With all that said, here's what you need to make crisp and earthy za'atar roasted eggplant:
What You'll Need
To make this basic but freaking delicious za'atar eggplant, you only need three main ingredients:
- Eggplant: Eggplants come in all shapes and sizes. You can use the larger ones or the small baby eggplants. It's completely up to you.
- Za'atar: If you don't know what za'atar seasoning is, it's about to change your world. This is a Middle Eastern seasoning blend made up of thyme, oregano, salt, sumac, and sesame seeds. It's the perfect blend of earthy, herby, savory, and tangy. You can get za'atar seasoning right here at Zesty Z.
- Oil: When it comes to oil, you can never go wrong with olive oil—but you can also use grapeseed oil or good ol' vegetable oil.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Slice your eggplant into ¼ inch slices. Try to keep the thickness consistent so that they'll cook evenly and in the same amount of time.
- Line a tray with some baking sheets and add your sliced eggplants on top. Drizzle your choice of oil and rub it all over the eggplant slices.
- Then, for the most important step, sprinkle some za'atar over each slice.
- Roast and enjoy!
What Can I Serve with Za'atar Roasted Eggplant?
The roasted eggplant is quite good by itself. But when it comes to Mediterranean food, you can never go wrong by pairing it with some carbs. Add in some pita bread or the traditional manoushe—or pair it with some basmati rice.
But if you want to avoid the carbs, there's another great way for you to enjoy this dish and take this simple yet very earthy and herby dish to the next level—by making roasted eggplant with tahini.
What About Roasted Eggplant With Tahini?
Tahini is another must-have Mediterranean condiment, and it goes incredibly well with za'atar too. As such, we want to share our roasted eggplant with tahini recipe if you're looking for something a bit more flavorful.
Tahini is a thick paste made from ground sesame seeds and used in savory dishes as a sauce, dip, or salad dressing, and sometimes even used in Middle Eastern desserts.
The sauce recipe we used for the roasted eggplant with tahini is slightly different from the one we used in the salad dressing, but it does give the same herbaceous tang that we love.
Are you ready to dive into this recipe? We sure can't wait for you to try it. It's such a simple and quick dish to make, but it's freaking delicious. If you're planning to make this for your friends and family you're going to make a serious statement!
Za'atar Roasted Eggplant With Tahini Recipe
Serves: 4 to 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Instruction: Gather all the ingredients listed above and blend until smooth.
Za'atar Roasted Eggplant
- 2 pounds Italian eggplant or 4 small eggplants, halved lengthwise
- 1⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, can substitute with grapeseed or vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons Zesty Z za’atar seasoning
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1⁄4 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, for garnish
- Pomegranate seeds, for garnish
- Flaky sea salt, for garnish
- 2 tablespoons date syrup (optional)
- 1 tablespoon chili powder (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a half sheet pan with baking or parchment paper.
2. Grab a paring knife and score the flesh of each eggplant half, making a series of 1⁄2-inch slices (about 1⁄4 inch deep) on the diagonal. Then, make another round of slices perpendicular to the first. You're basically creating a crosshatch pattern. This allows the eggplant to absorb more of the flavors from the herbs. Place the eggplant cut-side up on the prepared sheet pan.
3. Once that's done, find a small bowl and dump in the olive oil, za’atar, lemon zest, kosher salt, and pepper. Whisk together and pour the mixture over the eggplant. Make sure to rub it thoroughly and into the crosshatches that you made.
4. When all your eggplants are thoroughly covered, place them in the oven, and roast them for 35 to 40 minutes. You want it to be tender. Check to see if it's tender by piercing it with a paring knife.
5. While that's roasting, in another separate bowl, start preparing your tahini sauce. Take all your sauce ingredients, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and warm water, and blend until smooth. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste.
6. After the 35 to 45 minutes are up, take out your eggplants from the oven. Transfer the eggplant onto a platter and drizzle with the tahini sauce and some date syrup if you'd like. Garnish with the mint leaves, pomegranate seeds, and a pinch of flaky sea salt, and you're done!
Find Your Za'atar Essentials At Zesty Z!
Before you can bring this recipe to life, you need to find the best za'atar for sale online. And, as it turns out, that's what we've got here at Zesty Z. We even have a za'atar and olive oil concoction that is to die for.
So, grab all your ingredients and bring one of these amazing roasted eggplant za'atar recipes to life! You'll be glad you did.