My inspiration for this dinner came from my dad’s garden and a fantastic Lebanese restaurant I went to in Philly (Suraya). After going to Suraya and eating every vegan friendly option on their menu (literally I think I tried all of them) I felt like I had to replicate some of those rich and savory flavors at home.
PS: if you ever decide to make the trip there, let them know you are vegan! There are many vegetarian dishes on the menu (made with butter and yogurt) that they are happy to make vegan!
Shortly after, of course, my dad started bragging about his eggplant harvest and this recipe just spoke to me! For this dinner, I actually went a little overboard. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to go with the eggplant so I made several sides so I could experiment with what paired best.
Honestly, they all were delicious and I still can’t decide. So I’m going to leave my ideas here and you can choose!
For absolute certain, the number one thing I would insist on pairing with this eggplant would be roasted chickpeas. The flavors and textures were just so good together, I can’t imagine separating them.
For a more authentic version of the dish, I would probably pair this combo with an Israeli salad and couscous. I actually ran out of couscous and wanted to have enough leftovers for a few more meals, so I made brown rice instead. It did the job, but I definitely missed the couscous.
To pack in extra veggies, flavor, and make your leftovers go further, I recommend also roasting extra vegetables in the same spice blend like I did. (I roasted broccoli, chickpeas, and mushrooms. Red bell pepper would also be an excellent choice).
Middle East Inspired Eggplant with Lazy Lemon Hummus Sauce
An easy healthy dinner inspired by the Middle East
- For the spice blend:
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt Optional: cayenne pepper to taste for a little extra heat
- 1 eggplant
- 1 can chickpeas
- 1 head broccoli
- 1/2 pound mushrooms Optional: 1/4 cup pine nuts for toasting and garnishing
- 2 tbsp hummus
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cucumber
- 1 tomato
- 1 small or 1/2 large red onion
- 1 cucumber
- 1 tomato
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Black pepper to taste
Suggested vegetables for roasting:
Lazy Lemon Hummus Dressing:
- Pre heat oven to 400 degrees. Slice eggplant horizontally into discs and soak in a large bowl of salted water while you put together your spice blend and chop your other veggies. This step helps remove the bitterness from the eggplant. It’s a huge help any time eggplant is the start of the meal, especially for dishes like this one or eggplant parmesan! Drain and pat dry before roasting.
- Chop up your vegetables of choice and drain your can of chickpeas. For this dinner, I roasted broccoli, mushrooms, and chickpeas together and then made a side of Israeli salad and brown rice. A more authentic grain to cook would actually be couscous, but of course I ran out! If you’re roasting a million vegetables like I did, you might need to double your quantity of the spice blend. If it’s just going on the eggplant and chickpeas, the quantities I listed should be plenty.
- Place your vegetables on a large sheet pan (or two!), drizzle with olive oil (use a brush or your fingers to disperse evenly) and sprinkle the spice blend on both sides. Roast for 10 minutes, then flip, and roast for another 10. The vegetables will be crisp and flavorful when finished, the chickpeas will have a deep golden color and some crunch, and the eggplant will be soft and golden.
- While the veggies are roasting, make your sides, lazy lemon hummus sauce, and of course toast the pine nuts. I highly recommend couscous, but Israeli salad also pairs extremely well, and toast your pine nuts.
- Lazy lemon hummus sauce: Combine hummus, water, and lemon juice in a bowl. Stir to combine. Feel free to add more hummus, lemon, or water to adjust thickness and flavor. I chose not to add spices since the dish itself is already quite flavorful.
- To toast the pine nuts: put a small pan on medium heat, put the nuts in the pan, stir frequently and watch closely so they don’t burn. Toast until fragrant and slightly golden. Turn the heat off and set aside.
- To make a quick Israeli salad: combine all ingredients in a medium bowl, if you can, allow to settle in the refrigerator for the flavors to combine at least 30 minutes before serving
What do you think? Drop a comment below to let me know if you have any ideas, suggestions, or recipes I should try! If you like my recipes, make sure to follow this blog or find me on instagram (@chrissygoeshippy). Have a great week everyone!