Sweet Harissa Eggplant with tangy yogurt and spinach herb salad
I’m a big fan of dishes like this Sweet Harissa Eggplant that involve a creamy spread and a bunch of roasted veggies that you can scoop up with a perfect piece of sourdough. The plating is always so aesthetically pleasing, it encourages sharing, and it gives you the creative freedom to play with the ratio of veggies vs. spread vs. bread. This probably falls more into the appetizer category but could easily be a full meal with the addition of a grain (couscous would be great) and a protein of choice (crispy chickpeas?!).
The eggplant is cut lengthwise and then carefully cut into a criss-cross pattern almost all the way through – make sure not to puncture the skin since you want to trap all the yummy juices. Then drizzle the eggplant halves with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Next, wedge thin slices of garlic into the cuts. Roast in the oven until starting the soften. While the eggplant is baking, make both delicious and simple sauces. First the harissa sauce that is made with either agave nectar or honey, harissa, and salt. Next, the yogurt spread that is made with non-dairy yogurt, salt, and lemon. Make sure to buy a non-dairy yogurt that is thick and creamy. I really enjoy the brand Culina because it’s so rich, creamy, and tangy like yogurt should be. After about 20 minutes, pull the eggplant out of the oven and brush with the honey/agave harissa sauce and put it back in the oven for 10 minutes until it’s cooked through. Toss together the spinach and fresh herbs with olive oil and salt.
There’s a couple ways to serve this. A visually appealing way and a practical way. If you are serving this for someone you’d like to impress or you just love pretty food, I suggest a large platter spread with the creamy yogurt, topped with the spinach herb salad, the roasted eggplant, and drizzled with leftover harissa sauce and fresh herbs. If you want to be practical and just eat your food, I suggest serving the eggplant topped with the yogurt, harissa, and herbs alongside the spinach herb salad. Either way, this Sweet Harissa Eggplant hits all the right notes – a little spicy, a little sweet, creamy, and herby. So delicious! One of those dishes you want to serve someone who doesn’t believe veggies can be the star of the show 😉
P.S. The wine featured in these photos is Scotty Boy‘s 2 Bananas and I really love it.Print