This roasted eggplant with tahini and spiced almonds is inspired by Ottolenghi’s London restaurant, Nopi. It’s great served warm or at room temp.
This roasted eggplant with tahini was inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s London restaurant, Nopi. Rene and I headed straight there from Heathrow – during a layover en route to Rome – for a sleepy, après-redeye lunch. Ottolenghi is known for complex middle eastern flavors, unique ingredient pairings, and creative ways with vegetables. I’d admired his cooking philosophy for years and was ecstatic to finally visit one of his restaurants in person!
One of the dishes we ordered was this creamy, smoky, buttery eggplant with a cool sauce and crunchy nuts. It looked and tasted complex and fancy, but upon further inspection, turned out to be incredibly simple! I knew I’d have to recreate it at home.
What’s In This Recipe
This recipe has 3 elements: roasted eggplant slices, creamy tahini sauce, and spiced almonds. The sauce is a middle eastern classic, consisting of tahini with lemon juice and fresh garlic, thinned out with water. The almonds, meanwhile, get toasted in a skillet and seasoned with smoked paprika and garlic powder. A generous heap of parsley rounds everything out.
Ingredient Notes + Substitutions
- Eggplant: (a.k.a. aubergine for my friends across the pond) This dish is best with in-season globe eggplants from a local farmers market. (But supermarket eggplants will, of course, do.)
- Almonds: Slivered or sliced almonds are best here. If you have a nut allergy, substitute with sunflower seeds.
- Tahini: You can find this sesame paste in most supermarkets, either alongside the nut butters or in the international foods aisle. All tahini brands are slightly different, so try a few to see what you like best. I find that lighter-colored tahini (made from raw seeds) from Middle Eastern/Mediterranean brands is generally tastier and less bitter.
- Parsley: Flat-leaf parsley is always better than curly. You can also sub with cilantro.
Step-by-Step: Eggplant with Tahini
Step 1: Salt the Eggplant
To start, cut your eggplants into rounds (no need to peel), layer into a colander – sprinkling each layer with salt – and let stand for at least 15 minutes. When the eggplant looks sweaty, turn it out onto a kitchen towel and pat completely dry. (Salting eggplant before cooking draws out excess moisture as well as some of its natural bitterness, resulting in softer, creamier eggplant.)
Step 2: Roast the Eggplant
Arrange the slices in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Brush with oil and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Roast in a preheated 450º oven until soft and nicely browned on both sides, about 35 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
Note: Eggplant roasting time is not universal – it depends on the eggplant’s age and water content. So keep an eye on it while it roasts.
Step 3: Toast the Almonds
Meanwhile, place the almonds in a small skillet and toast until fragrant and golden, tossing frequently to avoid burning, about 5 minutes. Then add a bit of oil, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and toss to coat.
Step 4: Make the Tahini Sauce
Measure out your tahini and transfer to a medium bowl. Add lemon juice, fresh [pressed, grated, or finely minced] garlic, salt, and water, and whisk until smooth.
Step 5: Assemble
To serve, arrange the eggplant slices on a platter, drizzle with the sauce, scatter the almonds on top, and finish with parsley leaves. Roasted eggplant with tahini is great served warm or at room temp.
All 3 elements of this dish can be made in advance. You can refrigerate the cooked eggplant for up to 3 days; and make the tahini sauce and refrigerate it for up to a week. The spiced almonds will keep in a cool dark place in an airtight container for up to a week.
More eggplant recipes…
- Ukrainian Eggplant Caviar
- Soy-Glazed Eggplant with Garlic and Ginger
- Eggplant Casserole with Cashew “Ricotta”
- Vegan Eggplant Shakshuka
Let me know if you try this recipe! Give it a rating below and leave a comment, and don’t forget to tag your creation with @thenewbaguette on Instagram.Print
Ottolenghi-Inspired Eggplant with Tahini
- Prep Time: 25 mins
- Cook Time: 35
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Roasting
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern
- Diet: Vegan
This roasted eggplant with tahini and spiced almonds is great served warm or at room temp.
- 2 pounds eggplant (about 2 medium or 3 small), trimmed and cut into ½-inch-thick rounds
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ½ cup raw sliced or slivered almonds* (see note below)
- About 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ cup well-stirred tahini
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 small garlic clove, crushed, grated, or finely minced
- 2 to 4 tablespoons filtered water
- About ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
- Preheat the oven to 450ºF.
- Layer the eggplant slices into a colander – sprinkling each layer with salt – and let stand for at least 15 minutes*. When the eggplant looks sweaty, turn it out onto a kitchen towel and pat completely dry.
- Arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Brush with oil and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Roast until the eggplant is golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes, flipping once after about 20 minutes. (Roasting time is not universal and will depend on the age and water content of your specific eggplant, so keep an eye on it.)
- Meanwhile, place 1/2 cup almonds in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Toast, tossing occasionally, until lightly golden and fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn the heat off. Add 1 teaspoon oil and toss to coat. Then add 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, and 1/4 teaspoon each of garlic powder and salt. Toss to coat and transfer to a plate to cool.
- In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup tahini, 1 crushed garlic clove, 2 tablespoons each lemon juice and water, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Whisk until the sauce is smooth and pourable, adding more water if needed. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed.
- To serve, arrange the eggplant on a platter, drizzle with the tahini sauce and top with the spiced almonds and parsley. Serve warm or at room temp.
- If you have a nut allergy, substitute with sunflower seeds.
- Salting eggplant before cooking draws out excess moisture as well as some of its natural bitterness, resulting in softer, creamier eggplant.
- Serving Size: 1/6 of the recipe
- Calories: 176
- Carbohydrates: 10.8 g
- Fiber: 22 g
- Protein: 4.6 g
Keywords: eggplant, tahini, almonds, parsley, ottolenghi