Grilled Baby Eggplant with Minted Yogurt and Pomegranate is a simple healthy Middle Eastern inspired side dish or appetizer ~ you can even pick up these babies by their stems and eat them as finger food ~ they might just put nachos out of business!
How do you decide what to make on a daily basis in your kitchen? I get my recipe ideas in all sorts of ways, but sometimes it’s an ingredient that inspires me. I spotted these baby eggplant at the farmers market last week and knew I had to have them on my table that night.
With beautiful baby produce like this you need to resist the urge to do too much t0 them. I just halved and brushed them with olive oil, and popped them on a hot grill pan. The flesh softens to a creamy texture and the charring gives them extra flavor.
But simple doesn’t have to mean plain, and I like to serve the grilled eggplant with a zesty minted yogurt sauce and a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds. (You could use toasted pine nuts or walnuts if you don’t have pomegranate.) The result is festive enough for a holiday party.
You can actually pick them up by their little stems and eat them as finger food!
If you don’t have access to baby eggplant you can definitely use larger veggies for this recipe. If you’ve got the long thin Japanese eggplant just slice them lengthwise and cook the same way. If you’ve got the large round eggplant, I’d do them in slices, about 1/2 inch thick.
tvfgi recommends: stovetop grill pan
I use my stove top grill pan all the time. I use it when I want to sear food like fish, chicken, or veggies to get those great grill marks and flavor. It’s also what I use to grill my laffa bread. I use the Calphalon pan, pictured above, (you can click on the image for more info) I like it because it’s nonstick but doesn’t have a coating on it that can flake off over time. Hard-anodized nonstick is the thing to look for.
Grilled Baby Eggplant with Minted Yogurt and Pomegranate
minted yogurt sauce
- 1 cup yogurt
- a large handful of fresh mint leaves, 1/2 cup
- 1 clove garlic
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- pinch of salt
- 10 baby eggplant
- olive oil
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds, substitute toasted pine nuts or walnuts
- Process the sauce ingredients in a small food processor until smooth. Taste to adjust and then refrigerate until needed. You do this the day ahead if you like.
- Slice each eggplant in half lengthwise. I like to try to keep the stems intact, so I slice right through those as well. Brush each cut side lightly with olive oil and place, face down, on a preheated grill pan. Grill for several minutes on each side until the eggplants are charred and starting to soften.
- Serve the eggplant hot on a platter drizzled with the yogurt sauce and topped with pomegranate seeds.
Other eggplant recipes to try ~
Questions and Reviews
How adorable! I have never seen those mini eggplants over here…need to look harder to get some to try.
I love grilled eggplant, these look so delicious!
This is an amazing appetizer to serve this season! I rather serve real food than Nachos – so yes this just might put them out of business lol ?! Great recipe, thanks Sue!
Wow – this is so creative and absolutely beautiful. My husband has requested more eggplant recipes – bet he’s going to love this one!
Such a lovely dish! Loving these baby eggplant and so nice with the mint and pomegranate 🙂
Beautiful! I ate something similar at Ottolenghi in London – it was one of the memorable meals ever! And so darn pretty! Minted yogurt sounds wonderful!