It’s beginning to warm up, which means it’s time to break out the grill. This recipe is super simple and easy to make-ahead, which is perfect when entertaining guests. What makes this recipe great is its use of quality, fresh zaatar for both the dressing and as a garnish. The spice opens up from the olive oil and can be sprinkled on top as well for an added level of flavor.
You may be asking yourself what is zaatar? It's a Mediterranean spice mix with mainstay ingredients (if premium brand) of wild thyme (native to Middle East region), sumac, and sesame seeds. It offers limitless culinary uses, and even health benefits. Read hear about zaatar benefits.
To get a great color and flavor from your eggplant, make sure your grill is hot and ready to go before adding the eggplant. A liberal amount of olive oil rubbed onto each side of the eggplant will ensure beautiful grill marks on the eggplant.
Eggplant and Chickpea Salad with Zaatar Dressing
Prep Time: 35 mins, Cook Time: 10 mins, Total Time: 45 mins
Serving Size: About 1 cup
Calories: 413, Fat: 26g, Protein: 8g, Carbs: 39g, Fiber: 10g
1 large eggplant, cut into long “steaks”
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tomatoes, diced
1 (16 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon minced mint for garnish
For the Dressing:
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon zaatar
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Juice of one lemon
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt, to taste
Extra zaatar, to taste
Pita bread, for serving
- Sprinkle eggplant slices with salt and let stand in a colander for 30 minutes to remove bitterness. Rinse and dry.
- Pre-heat grill or grill pan to medium heat.
- Drizzle eggplant slices with extra virgin olive oil and grill until tender and browned, about 4-5 minutes per side. Let cool and cut into small ½ inch cubes.
- In a bowl, combine the diced tomatoes, chickpeas, and diced eggplant and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine all ingredients for the dressing except for the extra virgin olive oil and salt. Drizzle in olive oil while whisking to create an emulsion. Season with salt to taste, taking into account the eggplant is already salted.
- Toss salad in dressing and garnish with minced mint. Serve with pita bread on the side to sop up all the dressing.