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.
- 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 ~