File this one under one of those dishes that looks really impressive but totally isn't. If you love eggplant, as I do, you'll love this one. It requires almost no prep and plates really beautifully. I would suggest trying to pick eggplants on the smaller size when shopping; the really large eggplants can come off as intimidating or unapproachable to guests. I've included the ingredients for just one eggplant, but this one easily doubles, triples, quadruples!
1 small eggplant
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons za'atar
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup cold water
juice of 1/4 lemon
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
cilantro for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Start by cutting your eggplant in half, keeping the stem of the eggplant in tact. Score both side of the eggplant. Place the eggplant on a plate, salt generously and allow the eggplant to sit in the salt for at least 30 minutes, up to one hour. (This will allow the eggplant to rid of excess water.) Once you're finished, pat the eggplant dry with paper towel.
3. Transfer the eggplants to a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Use your hands or a pastry brush to make sure both sides of the eggplant halves are evenly coated in the oil. Then sprinkle the za'atar and use the same method to evenly distribute the spice.
4. Bake the eggplants, scored side up, for about 40 minutes, until completely softened and slightly browned.
5. While the eggplants are baking, combine tahini, water and lemon to make the tahini dressing for drizzling.
6. Once the eggplants are completely softened, allow them to cool a little. Then, drizzle with tahini dressing. Finish by garnishing generously with pomegranate seeds and cilantro.