A simple and much loved way to cook eggplant!
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? 😉
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
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.