Grilled Fairytale Eggplant with Tahini Lime Sauce
Season Category: Late summer in New England, August
These little guys deliver on cuteness, flavor, and convenience. Because they're small, they cook super fast and make a great quick vegetable add to a meal or appetizer for pre-grilling festivities. The sauce can also be used as a salad dressing. I like to put it on sliced carrots and cucumbers which are also in season this same time of year.
10 Fairytale eggplant or 1 large eggplant
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pepper and salt (optional)
Juice of 2 limes
3 tablespoons Tahini
1 tablespoon milk or almond milk
Fresh basil or herb of choice
(or gas stove and oven)
Rinse your vegetables and fresh herbs and let dry.
Turn on grill to medium high and let heat.
Combine sauce ingredients mix thoroughly with whisk or fork until it comes together into a thicker texture with a creamier, lighter color. Add more milk for thinner texture, omit for thicker texture.
Slice fairytale eggplants in half, leaving stems for helpful handles (if using regular eggplant slice into ½ inch thick, 1 inch wide french fry style pieces)
With insides of sliced eggplant facing up, drizzle with the olive oil until barely coated and sprinkle small amount salt and pepper.
Place eggplants, insides down on hot grill for 5 minutes.*
Once eggplants medium soft and with obvious grill marks, remove from flame and let cool.
Add 3 small dollops of sauce onto each eggplant, add chopped fresh basil or herbs for extra fresh flavor.
*Alternative “grilling” method (if you don’t have a grill handy)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Turn your gas stove to medium heat and gently place eggplants 1-2 at a time on top of the flame, for no more than 1 minute each. Be careful to not let them completely char and using metal tongs so you don’t burn yourself. Then finish eggplants by baking on baking sheet in oven for 15 minutes.
Star Ingredient Facts
This recipe is full of healthy fats and fiber. It is also heart healthy with minimal salt needed since the lime juice brings out the hint of sweetness in the eggplant, complementing it’s earthy eggplant-y flavor. You can play around with the eggplants by placing them at different parts of the grill to help you decide which texture cooked eggplant you prefer. I like mine charred on the outside but still with a bite on the inside (not mushy) so I place it in direct heat for a short time period.
Mindy Campbell, MS, RD, LDN