Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Southern Inspired Version of Yotam Ottolenghi's Eggplant with Buttermilk Sauce

Roasted Eggplant with Buttermilk Sauce, Pomegranates, Candied Pecans,
Candied Jalapenos, Chives, + Balsamic Reduction
Have y'all seen any of Yotam Ottolenghi's cookbooks yet? I think he has about three out right now, I only own the one, Plenty. And even though, it is far from my cuisine of choice, I am so intrigued by his flavor combination, uses of veggies & herbs, and his beautiful photography. Although he includes protein in some of his recipes, most of them are vegetarian, which I love because I don't cook nearly enough those kinda dishes... mine almost all have to have bacon in them. Of course. The recipe that really pulled me in was his Eggplant with Buttermilk Sauce. The picture was so gorgeous and inviting, but had the perfect rustic touch to it! I knew I had to make it, but with a southern spin.... haha, no brainer there. The eggplants are halved and cross-hatched before they are drizzled with olive oil, salt, pepper, and cajun seasoning (instead of za'tar). Once you've roasted them it's time to garnish them with a'whole'lotta crap. YAY for crap! I included the buttermilk sauce & pomegranates, like Ottolenghi, but I also scattered some chopped candied pecan, candied jalapenos, chives, and a balsamic reduction drizzle over the top. I decided to use a balsamic reduction, but I think a pomegranate reduction or pepper jelly drizzle would be just as fab as well, so it's up to y'all! I absolutely adore how the pictures turned out, they are so bright + vibrant, and I think they would be the perfect addition to your summer table. But go ahead and make it now, it's really pretty any time of the year!! Enjoy :)

For the Eggplant:
2 Large + Long Eggplants, Sliced in Half Lengthways
1/3C Olive Oil
½t Dried Basil + Dried Oregano
Fleur de Sel & Fresh Cracked Pepper
1t Cajun Seasoning

For the Buttermilk Sauce:
9T Buttermilk (well-shaken)
½C Sour Cream
1 ½T Melted Bacon Fat or Olive Oil
1 Garlic Clove, Minced
Salt & Pepper, To Taste

For Garnishing:
Pomegranate Seeds
Fresh Chives, Minced
Homemade Candied Pecans, Roughly Chopped
Homemade Candied Jalapenos, Finely Chopped
Balsamic Reduction, Pomegranate Reduction, or Pepper Jelly (for drizzling)


1. Preparing the Eggplant:Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the eggplants in half lengthways, cutting straight through the green stalk (the stalk is for the look; don't eat it). Use a small sharp knife to make three or four parallel incisions in the cut side of each eggplant half, without cutting through to the skin. Repeat at a 45-degree angle to get a diamond-shaped pattern.
2. Roasting the Eggplant:Place the eggplant halves, cut-side up, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush them with olive oil, keep on brushing until all of the oil has been absorbed. Sprinkle with the lemon thyme leaves and some salt and pepper. Roast for 40 to 50 minutes, at which point the flesh should be soft, flavorful, and nicely browned. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
3. For the Sauce:Whisk together all of the ingredients until a smooth consistency has formed. Season with salt & pepper. Keep chilled until you are ready to use.
4. Serving the Eggplant: Place the roasted eggplant halves onto a serving plate and spoon plenty of the buttermilk sauce over the halves. Sprinkle the top of the sauce with some more Cajun seasoning, and then drizzle on some balsamic reduction/pomegranate reduction/pepper jelly (of your choosing). Scatter plenty of pomegranate seeds, candied pecans, candied jalapenos, and freshly minced chives. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and enjoy!

here are some #instagrub pictures :)

1 comment:

  1. Oh am i happy!! I was out of touch for a long time....went to piece love and cooking and it was gone, just gone. Then the other night i was in a conversation and the word " haute" was used anda light bulb went on, well i googled haute and...bam your site came up. I spent 3 hours trying to catch up. So i have eggplants....SO many in the garden and wanted something fresh and new. This was it, the flavors, the colors all SO delish, and the whole fam was impressed. Thanks for the great recipe and i look forward to trying some more. Lots of love Miss B.