As fall has fallen, we have pivoted from grilling nearly everything we eat to cooking mostly indoors.
I recently picked up some small eggplants at the farmers market and was missing the salted grilled versions we enjoyed all summer. I thought about the best way to cook them indoors for optimal flavor, and decided that hashing them prior to marinating would be a good way to infuse flavor.
I had a small amount of hummus, a bit of Greek yogurt and a half a jalapeño pepper — barely enough of each to justify keeping as opposed to trashing, but I was glad I held onto them. Mixing the three items was the work of a moment and, with the last vestiges of my summer mint, I created a pretty terrific dish.
Roasted Eggplant with Spicy Hummus Yogurt Sauce
You can use any type of eggplant you like; cooking time will vary depending on size.
3 small eggplants, about the size of a man’s fist
1 tablespoon salt
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon sumac
1 teaspoon white vinegar
2 tablespoons hummus
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
½ teaspoon finely chopped or pureed jalapeño (or to taste)
Fresh mint leaves for garnish
Cut off the eggplant stem and slice the eggplant in half vertically. Make hash marks on the cut surface. Place the eggplant cut side up in a colander and sprinkle it with salt. Leave it in the sink for 30 minutes or longer.
While the eggplant salts, mix the marinade ingredients and set them aside. After the eggplant is salted, rinse well, pat it dry and set it in a baking dish, cut side up. Pour the marinade over the eggplant, and press it into the cut surfaces. If time permits, allow it to rest for a few minutes or up to several hours.
Heat your oven to 350 F. Bake the eggplant for 45 minutes until it is cooked through and starting to char. While the eggplant bakes, mix the hummus, yogurt and jalapeños in a small bowl. When the eggplant is cooked, top it with the sauce and sprinkle it with torn fresh mint leaves