My recent trip to Washington DC introduced me to a new cuisine – Lebanese. Edward, Kristi and I celebrated her 28th birthday at Lebanese Taverna and it was delicious! All of my recent cooking adventures has made me much more open to trying new foods so when the traditional Mezza came out – I tried all nine things.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t really tell you what I was trying. But I do know that I absolutely loved the hummus and adding pomegranate seeds, although a little unusual, was quite good. My least favorite was some sort of cold vegetables with a red sauce on them, not horrible, just not a favorite. I left completely stuffed and wanting to try more. Imagine my surprise when I recently received a recipe for Moutabal in one of my Tasting Table emails. And on top of it, it was an eggplant recipe which was also recently requested by my friend Leslie – double bonus!
So… drumroll please… dinner was more tilapia but with Lebanese flavoring. It is a dumbed down dish of Siyyadiyah, which, although I have never tried, I’m sure would be very good. The eggplant dish is Moutabal and was also very good – not really flavors or texture that I’m used to eating it (I hate yogurt under normal circumstances), but this was good. It’s a cold dip and you eat it with Naan. I recommend it but with a tip – when you broil the eggplant, use a sheet pan like they say. I used a glass dish and it shattered under the heat 😦
1 eggplant (1 1/2 pounds)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint leaves
Naan, for serving
1. Preheat the broiler to high and position a rack 4 to 6 inches beneath it.
2. Pierce the eggplant all over with a fork and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil the eggplant, watching
carefully and turning every 3 to 5 minutes to prevent burning, until charred on the outside and slightly
collapsed, about 15 minutes total. Let the eggplant cool for 10 minutes.
3. Peel and discard the skin and scoop the flesh into a colander set over a bowl. Press on the eggplant gently
with the back of a large spoon and let any excess moisture drain for 5 to 10 minutes. Discard the liquid
that accumulates in the bowl.
4. In a mixing bowl, combine the eggplant with the garlic, salt, oil, yogurt and lemon juice. Chill, covered, for one hour to allow the flavors to meld. Just before serving, stir in the mint and serve with the naan,