I’ve been making this eggplant dish since October when I saw it in New York Magazine. My favorite food duo Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi whose cookbook Jerusalem I have been cook from and talking about since I got it at Christmas. This was the recipe that got me started: Roasted Eggplant with Friend Onion and Chopped Lemon.
First let me say I am not a huge fan of Eggplant, but this recipe changed everything. Maybe it’s the huge mound of sweet caramelized onions that smothers the dish or the salty creamy feta. I have adapted the recipe ever so slightly from its original and strongly suggest you buy both talent young gentlemen’s cookbooks!
I usually double this dish because it is such a hit.
Roasted Eggplant with Friend Onion and Chopped Lemon.
Preheat the oven to 425F.
Halve 2 large eggplants (about 2 pounds) and score them with a crisscross pattern.
Coat each piece with 6-7 Tablespoons of Olive Oil and generously season with salt and pepper. Roast on a baking sheet cut side up for about 45 minutes until the eggplant is nicely brown and soft.
While the eggplant is cooking add 6 Tablespoons of Olive Oil to a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add to the hot oil 4 large thinly sliced onions (2 pounds) then add 1/2 teaspoon of Salt and cook for about 10 minutes stirring often until the onions are golden.
Seed and chop 2 green hot chili’s like Serrano or Jalapeno. Add half of the chili’s to the caramelized onions along with: 2 Teaspoons of Cumin powder, 1 Teaspoon of Sumac to the onions stir in and cook for about 2 minutes. Stir in 2 ounces of Feta and 2 Tablespoons of fresh Thyme leaves. Cook for another couple of minutes to warm the cheese and infuse the mixture with Thyme.
Seed, peel and chop the flesh of 1 or 2 lemons stir in the rest of the chopped green chili and 2 large, finely chopped cloves of Garlic. Spread this mixture over the cooked eggplant. Top with the onion mixture. I like to scoop the eggplant out and mix it with the onions.
Optionally, you can place the entire dish under a broiler until the feta is lightly brown.
Serve with good bread. A dollop of greek yogurt is a great accompaniment.
This dish can be served warm or at room temperature.