Grilled Zaatar Spiced Eggplant

There is nothing better than grilled eggplant.  I recommend globe eggplants for this dish, but if you choose Japanese eggplants, you will need to increase their number and adjust for a shorter cooking time to complete this recipe. This Grilled Zaatar Spiced Eggplant is perfect as an appetizer or part of the main course.  Serve with pita or rice for a meatless meal, or serve alongside chicken or lamb kebabs for the meat lovers in the crowd.

Grilled Zaatar Spiced Eggplant

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Seasoning Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Side Dish
Keyword: Grilled Eggplant, Vegetarian Grilling
Servings: 4 People
Author: Derrick Riches

Ingredients

  • 2 medium eggplants cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 1 cup whole milk yogurt (opt for creamy over tart)
  • 6-8 fresh mint leaves chopped
  • Toasted sesame seeds

For zaatar spice:

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper flakes

Instructions

  • Place each eggplant half onto a large baking sheet, skin side up. Sprinkle the exposed flesh with salt and let stand for 30-35 minutes. This process will extract the bitter flavors.
  • I recommend a charcoal grill for this dish, but it’s okay to use what you have on hand. The recommended temperature is around 375 degrees F.
  • Blot flesh portions dry with clean paper towels. Combine thyme, oregano, cumin, coriander, black pepper, and pepper flakes together in a small bowl. Brush eggplant with olive oil and sprinkle seasoning onto the flesh portion.
  • Place onto grill cut side down and cook for 5 minutes. Gently turn and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes or until eggplant flesh is tender (scoopable, but not completely gooey), and skins have a bit of char to them.
  • Remove from heat and place onto a large clean platter. Sprinkle with a little more olive oil. Finish the dish off with toasted sesame seeds, a heaping spoonful or two of yogurt on each half, and chopped mint. Serve immediately.

Notes

Attribution: Image by shokotov from Pixabay

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