One of my favorite finds in New Orleans so far has been the Hong Kong Market on the West Bank. It’s an awesome asian supermarket that fills my chinatown void and has some of the best produce in all of nola.
They have the most awesome selection of eggplants. Baby italian and indian eggplants and the long and slender asian ones. Whenever I make the trip over there, I always pick up an assortment of eggplants and run home to make this Smitten Kitchen cookbook recipe.
The combination of the roasted eggplant, thick and creamy yogurt tahini sauce, fresh parsley and crispy chickpeas is nothing short of perfection. It would be an awesome appetizer for a party, or a nice light dinner.
1- 15.5 oz can of chickpeas, drained, patted dry on paper towels
5 tablespoons olive oil
Course or kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3 pounds small italian eggplants
1/3 cup tahini
2/3 cup thick plain greek yogurt
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/3 cup cold water
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and toss the chickpeas with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, and ground cumin. Spread them on a baking sheet and roast them on the top rack for 30 to 40 minutes, shaking it every now and then until they are browned and crisp.
Brush a large baking sheet with a generous tablespoon of oil. Halve the eggplants lengthwise, arrange them, cut side up, in one layer on oiled sheet. Brush the cut sides lightly with a little additional oil, and sprinkle them with generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast for 15 minutes and then flip them over and roast them for another 15 minutes.
while those are roasting, make the yogurt-tahini sauce
Whisk together tahini, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic and salt. The mixture will become very thick, so add water a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is smooth but thick.