Fiesta Friday: Roasted Eggplant with Yogurt-Tahini Sauce and Crispy Chickpeas

First off, a very, very happy first-ever block party to Angie and the crew over at The Novice Gardener! I am not a regular over there, more like a creepy neighbor, looking over the fence.  So this time, I’m actually bringing something.  And it’s delicious and totally not creepy.

We ate this recipe, inspired by the Smitten Kitchen, for dinner, but made with smaller eggplants, this is a delectable, decadent appetizer.  (As the Husband said, right after he finished his eggplant off, and right before he heated up some leftover pizza, “this might be too much veggie to be dinner.”)

all lined up.
all lined up.

Roasted Eggplant with Yogurt-Tahini Sauce and Crispy Chickpeas

for the eggplant & chickpeas

  • 2 (15 oz) cans chickpeas, rinsed, drained and patted dry (really, you just need one can, but if you’re like me, you’ll eat so many of these as they’re coming out of the oven that if you want enough to actually eat with your eggplant, you should make two cans)
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • generous handful each of smoked paprika and garlic powder
  • 1 or 2 large eggplants, or 3 small, Italian-style eggplants

for the sauce

  • 3 heaping tablespoons tahini
  • about 2/3 cup plain greek yogurt (I supplemented with a bit of light sour cream)
  • juice from 1/2 lemon, plus a bit of freshly grated zest
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt & pepper, a touch of crushed reds, if you please
  • 3-4 tablespoons parsley, divided
these are the healthiest things you'll ever become addicted to.
these are the healthiest things you’ll ever become addicted to.
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil, spread out the chickpeas, drizzle about 2-3 tablespoons olive oil all over.  Toss chickpeas evenly with salt, pepper, smoked paprika and garlic powder.  Bake for about 30-40 minutes; make sure to give them a toss at least once or twice so they don’t burn.  Dust with another quick pinch of salt as they come out of the oven.
  2. On another baking sheet, spread out another layer of aluminum foil, and spray with a bit of olive oil.  Cut the eggplants in half and spray both the tops and the bottoms with a bit of olive oil.  Arrange cut side up and season generously with salt and pepper.  Roast for 15 minutes and then flip.
  3. As the chickpeas and eggplant cook, make the sauce.  Whisk together the tahini, yogurt, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, salt, a few grinds of pepper, a tablespoon of parsley and a touch of crushed reds.
  4. Serve the eggplant, cut side up, topped with sauce, the crispy chickpeas, and a bit more parsley.
appetizer or dinner, it doesn't matter.  just eat it.
appetizer or dinner, it doesn’t matter. just eat it.

The Verdict

This. Was. Awesome.  As appetizers go, this IS a dish for which you will need a knife and a fork, but hey, that’s a small price to pay.  This does not reheat well, as the eggplant gets a bit mushy…so invite all your friends!  And thanks, Angie, for inviting us!

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Published by

varinaj

planning, cooking, eating and repeating.

37 thoughts on “Fiesta Friday: Roasted Eggplant with Yogurt-Tahini Sauce and Crispy Chickpeas”

  1. Looks delicious even though I do not cook with eggplant much. Not sure why – guess I need to! I made a yogurt tahini sauce too for my meatballs but I like your addition of the red pepper flakes (I am assuming ‘crushed reds’ is that 🙂

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  2. Hi Varina and welcome to Fiesta Friday now that you are no longer lurking in the sidelines!! I love aubergine and I love chick peas. Also adore Deb Perlman – so this is just a big old hit with me!! It also reminds me of Ottolenghi too. My son is not keen on aubergine but I could quite happily make and eat a small one all for myself! This is a lovely first Fiesta Friday post – look forward to seeing more of you now! Happy Fiesta Friday!

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    1. Thank you so much, Selma! I think if you subbed out the chickpeas and subbed in the pomegranate seeds, this WOULD be Ottolenghi! Thanks for a warm welcome (and what a gorgeous intro to your FF post – such a nice story!).

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  3. Welcome to Fiesta Friday. Glad you joined us for our first anniversary bash. You and your delicious appetizer fit in very well at this gathering. And not to worry, as co-host I am happy to round up a few utensils so everyone can enjoy this. Look forward to seeing you back here on a regular basis.

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