A Middle Eastern inspired recipe – Baked eggplant chips with za´atar

A simple and much loved way to cook eggplant!

A Middle Eastern inspired recipe - Baked eggplant chips with za´atar

I did not fully appreciate how much the Turkish love their food until the day I met some in a small restaurant in Brunswick (Melbourne). That was a meeting I would remember, and the start of life-long friendship. I could feel it.

We certainly share the love for food. How I wish I could meet L´s mom, who has been considered the real master chef among Turkish community in Melbourne. And of course, I am already dreaming of traveling to Turkey, to experience the street food and especially some fabulous baklava.

The group of friends also mentioned the lesser known Turkish vegetarian cooking. You see, I normally venture out to Turkish restaurants to satisfy my meat craving. That is what they are famous for. However, I understand what my friends mean by saying that there are much more to Turkish cuisine than just kebab. I can draw similar conclusion; Vietnamese cooking is more than just pho or fresh rice paper roll.

The recipe for today is inspired from Middle Eastern cooking. Eggplant and yoghurt are loved with passion in Middle Eastern cooking. But the star of the show is za´atar.

What is za´atar anyway? It´s a popular spice-herb mixture in Middle Eastern cooking. The typical mixture normally consists of dried thyme, sesame seeds and salt. Other possible variation includes ingredients like dried oregano, and spices like cumin or coriander. The version I like is of Lebanese background, in which, sumac is used. Sumac is a spice that has beautiful lemony flavour. A much loved spice of mine, to sprinkle onto grilled meat or salad.

My dish today is really simple. I make eggplant chips. The nice thing is the chips are not fried but baked in the oven. After baking, the chips are sprinkled with za´atar and served with thick natural yoghurt. Eggplant chips make beautiful snack, and baking them this way is a really good method.

I am sending this dish to Weekend Herb Blogging. My good friend, Dhanggit from Dhanggit’s Kitchen, is our host of this week. Please head to her blog for the roundup!

Oh, need I mention that I will be hosting WHB next week? 😉

A Middle Eastern inspired recipe - Baked eggplant chips with za´atar

Baked eggplant chips with za´atar

Inspired by a recipe from Donna Hay´s magazine. I used two eggplants and two of us finished in just seconds!

Asian small and long eggplant, sliced longwise thinly
Olive oil
Sea salt
Za´atar – as needed (around 1tsp for 2 eggplants)
Thick natural yoghurt, to serve
Preheat oven to 180C. Place eggplant slices onto a baking tray. Lightly sprinkle some salt. Drizzle olive oil to coat.
Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 mins until the slices are crisp. Take out, sprinkle with za´atar.
Serve hot with thick yoghurt.

29 Responses to A Middle Eastern inspired recipe – Baked eggplant chips with za´atar

  1. Julia @Mélanger says:

    Just love eggplant. This looks like a delicious way to prepare it.

  2. Dhanggit says:

    Oh my these eggplants are beautiful! And thanks for a great and healthy entry for WHB!!

  3. NQN says:

    I aodre za'atar and eat it with quail's eggs! :) This looks wonderful and healthy too! No wonder it wa such a hit!

  4. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    I love Middle Eastern food! What a delightful recipe! Marvelous! Your pictures are stunning too!

  5. Faith says:

    Oooh, these look beautiful! Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables, so I'll definitely be trying this recipe!

  6. Kalyn says:

    Gorgeous! Saving your recipe since I just got some Za'atar!

  7. thecookieshopinenglish says:

    So simple, delicious and healthy, too! Bookmarked.:)

  8. gaga says:

    Hi, I saw this on foodgawker and just HAD to comment on your my melody cup, it's adorable!!! The eggplant looks pretty good too :)

  9. shaz says:

    Wow! I love eggplant but didn't realise they would crisp up in the oven too (no more oily frying for me). Thanks for sharing this.

  10. talat says:

    I've never seen this before. Looks awesome. How thick should the eggplant slices be?

  11. Anh says:

    Thanks all for your lovely comments!

  12. heidileon says:

    beautiful, perfect and healthy snack. My kind of snack!

  13. Christie says:

    It seems we're both having eggplant cravings! Love these with za'atar!

  14. Snooky doodle says:

    I love eggplant recipes. These look so good !

  15. Sara says:

    Mmmmmmmmm, these look so tasty! I like eggplant but often I'm not sure what to do with it, so this is a great idea! :)

  16. bittersweetblog says:

    Eggplant chips? Now that's unique! But so much healthier than your standard chip, and I'm sure much more flavorful with that seasoning.

  17. lydiawalshin says:

    Simple, elegant, and I never would have thought of it! I'm bookmarking, then off to the market to find some beautiful Asian eggplant.

  18. Belle@Ooh, Look says:

    Za'atar is one of the those condiments that instantly evoke the turkey and Morocco for me. Serving it with eggplant sounds delish. By the way, your photos are wonderful!

  19. Manggy says:

    Gorgeous! Do you think it would help them crisp up better if you salted them and let them sit to release the bitter fluids? I can't believe they turned out so well, lovely! :)

  20. Lisa Michelle says:

    These beat potato chips by a mile! What a healthy way to get the same crunch but with more flavor! Love the thick yogurt as a dip too, as I have tubs of Greek yogurt I need to use. Those chips would be perfect!

  21. Sylvia says:

    Great recipe . I only taste za'atar in cheese but I like the , unless for me, the innovation idea.Your photos are so creativ and artistics.

  22. Anh says:

    Thanks all for the sweet words.

  23. Susan from Food Blogga says:

    I fell in love with za'atar after one mouthful. And I can only imagine how amazing it is on eggplant crisps!

  24. JayEm says:

    I'm sure lots of kids will love it from the way it prepare and presented. Very delicious and nutritious. some yummy

  25. Sophie says:

    I love baked vegatbles with Za'tar!! I love using this spice!! It gives a nice flavour!! I bet it was so tasty!!

  26. Justin says:

    i love that first photo

  27. tara says:

    I adore eggplant, and these chips sound amazing. I must tell you, that mug makes me smile something fierce.

  28. Isabelle says:

    Wow! These eggplants are fantastic! I love za'aatar and Middle Eastern food!

  29. The Woman says:

    I share your love for Middle-Eastern food and I especially love eggplants. This is definitely going on my to-make list!

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