- 2 large eggplants
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp thyme leaves, plus whole sprigs for garnish
- Sea salt and black pepper
- 1 pomegranate
- 1 tsp za'atar, marjoram or oregano
- 9 tbsp buttermilk
- 1/2 cup greek yogurt
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, plus drizzle to finish
- 1 small garlic clove, crushed
- pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise, cutting straight through the green stalk (the stalk is for the look; don't eat it). Use a small sharp knife to make 3 or 4 parallel incissions in the cut side of each eggplant half, without cutting the to the skin. Repeat at a 450-degree angle to get a diamond shaped pattern.
Place the eggplants halves cut-side up, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush them with olive oil - keep on brushing until all the oil has been absorbed by the flesh. Sprinkle with the thyme leaves and some salt and pepper. Roast for 35-40 minutes at which point the flesh should be soft, flavourful and nicely browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool down completely.
While the eggplants are in the oven, cut the pomegranate into two horizontally. Hold one half over a bowl, with the cut side against your palm, and use the back of a wooden spoon or a rolling pin to gently knock on the pomegranate skin. Continue beating with increasing power until the seeds start coming out naturally and falling through your fingers into the bowl. Once all the are there, sift through the seeds to remove any bits of white skin or membrane.
To make the sauce
Whisk together all of the ingredients. Taste for seasoning then keep cold until needed.
To serve, spoon plenty of buttermilk sauce over the eggplant halves, without covering the stalks. Sprinkle the za'atar and plenty of pomegranate seeds on top and garnish with thyme. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.