The Best Eggplant Dish Ever


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.

About urbanfoodguy

I'm a self taught cook with a dedication to buying and eating food that is as humanely and sustainably raised as possible. Which is why in addition to recipes you will see a lot of environmental/political reporting here. I started cooking when I was about 6, it's something I always loved to do. Watching Graham Kerr - aka "The Galloping Gourmet" - was what got me started and I have never really looked back. Over the years I've been a private chef, a caterer, and a food stylist for magazines such as Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Real Simple, Oprah, Martha Stewart's Everyday Food and many more. I've also worked in the prep kitchen for the Food Network on the Bobby Flay and Paula Deen shows. Now I work at home in my kitchen sharing with you here recipes that I create or that other people have created that inspire me and I think you will like. I love my neighborhood (the Lower East Side of Manhattan) and I love to travel. Because NYC is such a big place I tend to focus mostly on my 'hood and the ones that are close by: The East Village, Bowery, Chinatown and Williamsburg. My love of travel has no limits really, I'm always ready to get on a plane. I was lucky enough to have a business for many years that allowed me to spend a lot of time in South East Asia. These days I've been spending time in Mexico, Germany, Canada and the West Coast of the U.S., but check back you never know where I might end up. I do consulting, cooking classes, and freelance lifestyle writing so if you are interested please send me a note:
This entry was posted in Recipes and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Best Eggplant Dish Ever

  1. This sounds great and I will definitely try it once the eggplants come out (late summer for us, usually). I was never a massive eggplant fan, and never really wanted to grow many of them but then we had a bumper year for eggplants and they were really delicious. I think that for me roasting them is one of the things that makes them shine. When I fry them, they always turn out oily and unappetizing.

    • urbanfoodguy says:

      Totally agree Roasting is the way to go – I’d think in Turkey you are inundated with Eggplants! I used to make a dip with roasted eggplants, pomegranate syrup and ground walnuts….

  2. Pingback: Eggplant Chinoise | jittery cook

  3. Pingback: Eggplant Parmesan with Spaghetti Squash | LauraLovingLife

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s