Recipe

Hasselback Eggplant with Garlic-Yogurt Sauce

by Sasha Marx

For our eggplant deep dive, I wanted to create a roasted eggplant dish that featured some of the roasted, smoky eggplant goodness that I love in baba ghanoush—but with a lot more textural variety. To achieve a creamy interior and crispy edges, I landed on a technique more commonly used for potatoes: the Hasselback. By making slices every ¼ inch crosswise down the length of the eggplant, stopping just short of slicing through, I opened up a whole new world of eggplant possibilities. This setup allows steam to escape during cooking so the eggplant gets tender without bursting and turning to mush. More importantly, I could pack the spaces between the slices with superflavorful muhammara, a sweet and spicy Middle Eastern paste made from roasted peppers, walnuts, bread crumbs, and pomegranate molasses. Finally, I balanced the rich spiciness and mild bitterness of the roasted eggplant with a creamy garlic-yogurt sauce (mic drop).

Yield
Serves 4 as an appetizer or 2 as a main dish
SFS_Hasselback_Eggplnt-0057.jpg
Ingredients

Eggplant

680 g eggplant (1 large eggplant)
6 g plus 6 g kosher salt, divided
225 g jarred piquillo peppers, patted dry and chopped coarse
100 g walnuts, toasted
75 g pomegranate molasses
40 g scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
30 g plus 60 g panko bread crumbs, divided
16 g Aleppo pepper
2 g cumin
55 g  plus 25 g extra virgin olive oil, divided
15 g lemon juice

Garlic-Yogurt Sauce

270 g Greek yogurt
15 g lemon juice
7 g garlic (1 clove), minced
3 g chopped fresh mint
3 g kosher salt
3 g fresh mint leaves, torn into large pieces

Eggplant

1  large eggplant
2 teaspoons plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 cup jarred piquillo peppers, patted dry and chopped coarse
1 cup walnuts, toasted
3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
7  scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
5 tablespoons plus 10 tablespoons panko bread crumbs, divided
2 tablespoons Aleppo pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Garlic-Yogurt Sauce

1 cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1  garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon kosher salt
12  fresh mint leaves, torn into large pieces
Essential Equipment
Instructions
  1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees F/200 degrees C. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and place wire rack in sheet. 
    • 680 g eggplant (1 large eggplant)
    • 6 g kosher salt
    For Eggplant: Slice off stem and slice ¼ inch from opposite end of eggplant; slice eggplant in half lengthwise. Place eggplant halves, cut sides down, on cutting board. Working with 1 half at a time, place 1 chopstick on either side of eggplant. Using sharp chef’s knife, slice eggplant crosswise at ¼-inch intervals, allowing knife to cut down to and make contact with chopsticks. Chopsticks will prevent knife blade from cutting completely through eggplant. Sprinkle eggplant halves with salt, making sure to get salt into slices. Set aside for at least 15 minutes or up to 30 minutes.  
    • 225 g jarred piquillo peppers, patted dry and chopped coarse 
    • 100 g walnuts, toasted 
    • 75 g pomegranate molasses 
    • 40 g scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces 
    • 30 g panko bread crumbs 
    • 16 g Aleppo pepper 
    • 2 g cumin 
    • 55 g extra-virgin olive oil 
    • 15 g lemon juice 
    • 6 g kosher salt
    Combine piquillos, walnuts, molasses, scallions, panko, Aleppo pepper, and cumin in food processor and process until coarse paste forms, about 20 seconds. With processor running, drizzle in oil in steady stream until emulsified, about 30 seconds. Stop processor and scrape down sides of bowl. Add lemon juice and salt and process to incorporate, about 15 seconds. Transfer 300 grams paste to medium bowl. Transfer 30 grams paste to second medium bowl. (Reserve remaining paste in airtight container for other use). 
  2. Blot eggplant dry with paper towels. Smear 300 grams pepper paste on eggplant, making sure to get plenty between each fanned eggplant segment. Place eggplant halves, fanned sides up, on prepared sheet and transfer to oven. Roast until eggplant is crispy and golden brown toward edges, tender in center, and bottom can be pierced easily with knife, 40 to 60 minutes. 
    • 270 g Greek yogurt 
    • 15 g lemon juice 
    • 7 g garlic (1 clove), minced 
    • 3 g chopped fresh mint 
    • 3 g kosher salt
    For Garlic-Yogurt Sauce: While eggplant is roasting, stir yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, mint, and salt together in small bowl until combined. Set aside. 
    • 60 g panko bread crumbs 
    • 25 g extra virgin olive oil
    Heat broiler. Stir bread crumbs and oil into 30 grams reserved pepper paste until combined. Spread bread-crumb mixture on top of roasted eggplant. Broil until bread crumbs are crispy and golden brown, 1 to 3 minutes.
    • 3 g fresh mint leaves, torn into large pieces
    Transfer eggplant to serving platter. Sprinkle mint over eggplant and serve immediately with Garlic-Yogurt Sauce. 
Instructions
  1. For Eggplant: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees F/200 degrees C. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and place wire rack in sheet. 
    • 1 large eggplant 
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    Slice off stem and slice ¼ inch from opposite end of eggplant; slice eggplant in half lengthwise. Place eggplant halves, cut sides down, on cutting board. Working with 1 half at a time, place 1 chopstick on either side of eggplant. Using sharp chef’s knife, slice eggplant crosswise at ¼-inch intervals, allowing knife to cut down to and make contact with chopsticks. Chopsticks will prevent knife blade from cutting completely through eggplant. Sprinkle eggplant halves with salt, making sure to get salt into slices. Set aside for at least 15 minutes or up to 30 minutes.  
    • 1 cup jarred piquillo peppers, patted dry and chopped coarse 
    • 1 cup walnuts, toasted 
    • 3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses 
    • 7 scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces 
    • 5 tablespoons panko bread crumbs 
    • 2 tablespoons Aleppo pepper 
    • 1 teaspoon cumin 
    • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice 
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    Combine piquillos, walnuts, molasses, scallions, panko, Aleppo pepper, and cumin in food processor and process until coarse paste forms, about 20 seconds. With processor running, drizzle in oil in steady stream until emulsified, about 30 seconds. Stop processor and scrape down sides of bowl. Add lemon juice and salt and process to incorporate, about 15 seconds. Transfer 1½ cups paste to medium bowl. Transfer 2 tablespoons of paste to second medium bowl. (Reserve remaining paste in airtight container for other use). 
  2. Blot eggplant dry with paper towels. Smear 1½ cups pepper paste on eggplant, making sure to get plenty between each fanned eggplant segment. Place eggplant halves, fanned sides up, on prepared sheet and transfer to oven. Roast until eggplant is crispy and golden brown toward edges, tender in center, and bottom can be pierced easily with knife, 40 to 60 minutes. 
    • 1 cup Greek yogurt 
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice 
    • 1 garlic clove, minced 
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint 
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    For Garlic-Yogurt Sauce: While eggplant is roasting, stir yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, mint, and salt together in small bowl until combined. Set aside. 
    • 10 tablespoons panko bread crumbs 
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    Heat broiler. Stir bread crumbs and oil into 2 tablespoons reserved pepper paste until combined. Spread bread-crumb mixture on top of roasted eggplant. Broil until bread crumbs are crispy and golden brown, 1 to 3 minutes.
    • 12 fresh mint leaves, torn into large pieces
    Transfer eggplant to serving platter. Sprinkle mint over eggplant and serve immediately with Garlic-Yogurt Sauce. 
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