Prep 35 mins
Cook 50 mins
This is a great appetizer with a ton of flavor!
- 2 italian eggplants, halved and scored (1 1/2 to 2 pounds total)
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/2 cup
- kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 2 tablespoons tahini paste
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1⁄4 cup small dice red bell pepper
- 8 large pita bread rounds, cut into wedges
- 2 tablespoons za'atar spice mix, dry spice
- 1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Split the eggplants in half through the stem and score the flesh sides. Drizzle with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast eggplants, flesh side down on a sheet pan, until the skin begins to wrinkle and flesh is very tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- When the eggplants are cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and transfer to the bowl of a food processor along with the garlic, parsley, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, and cayenne and puree until smooth. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil and pulse again to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the red bell pepper. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil if desired. Serve with pita strips for dipping.
- While the eggplants are cooking, make pita strips: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Put the pita wedges in a large mixing bowl. Combine za'atar spice mix and extra-virgin olive oil in a small bowl and drizzle over wedges. Season with salt and toss to coat evenly. Arrange pita wedges on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until warmed through.