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Summer Salads and Sides: Grilled Eggplant with Maple Tahini Sauce
As I’ve mentioned a million times, I love Middle Eastern cuisine – the flavors, the colors, but also the creative ways they use of vegetables!! So I wanted to take a deconstructed approach to the flavors of baba ganoush.
I’m Italian, so I’m no stranger to eggplant. Shout out to the lovely eggplant parm!! Its August and eggplants are at their peak, so why not stick them on the grill to take advantage of the smoky flavor it adds!
Topped with a drizzle of the most addicting tahini-maple sauce, you have the easiest, most addictive grilled eggplant side dish ever. Its like baba ganoush’s cousin-twice-removed (but with out the chilling or waiting!). Oh and with a savory, maple-y, tahini sauce drizzle! If you want to get your kids or picky husband to eat eggplant: TAHINI-MAPLE SAUCE.
Secretly vegan, but meat-eater approved. Try it with a zesty marinated grilled chicken or along a lemon and olive oil dressed green salad.
- 1 eggplant, cut into 1" horizontal slices and skin removed
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. sumac
- 1/8 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp. tahini
- 1 1/2 tsp. pure maple syrup
- 1/4-1/2 tsp. sea salt (to taste)
- 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2-4 tbsp. water
- finely chopped parsley leaves
- Coarsely ground black pepper
In a small bowl, use a fork to combine tahini and maple syrup. Drizzle in olive oil while whisking constantly. Add 2 tbsp. water and stir to combine. If sauce is still too thick, add additional water one 1/2 tbsp. at a time. We want sauce to drizzle easily. Season with salt. If desired, can be made up to 24 hours ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. Allow to come to room temperature before using.
Place eggplant slices between layered paper towels to remove excess water.
Bring gas or charcoal grill to medium heat (about 375 with the lid closed).
When grill is close to desired temperature. Brush one side of eggplant slices with ½ of olive oil, and sprinkle with half of salt, pepper, and sumac.
Brush grill grates with olive oil. Place eggplant oiled side down on grill grates. Brush side facing up with remaining oil and sprinkle with remaining salt, pepper, and sumac. Close lid and grill 3-5 minutes, until tender and starting to brown in spots. Flip and do the same on the other side.
Arrange grilled eggplant slices on serving platter and drizzle with tahini maple sauce. You will probably have sauce leftover. Reserve it for another purpose or let people dip their eggplant (and likely everything else on their plate!) in the leftover sauce. Top eggplant with chopped parsley, a pinch more each of salt and pepper. Serve immediately.