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Middle Eastern Quinoa-Stuffed Eggplant Baladi with a Lemony Tahini Drizzle



1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit/200 degrees Celsius.
2. Cut the eggplant in half length-wise and make slits in the flesh to help the eggplant cook through. Put the eggplant halves onto a Gefen Parchment Paper-lined baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Bake for about 30 minutes face down until soft to the touch.
3. Meanwhile prepare your lemony tahini sauce: In a small bowl or food processor, mix all the ingredients for the sauce except the water. Add the water gradually according to your desired consistency and set aside.
4. Prepare the quinoa according to the package instructions—usually one part quinoa to two parts water—and boil for about 15 minutes.
5. Heat two tablespoons olive oil in a large pan and add in the chopped onions. Cook for about three to four minutes, until they turn soft and slightly caramelized. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, then add the chickpeas.
6. When the quinoa is fully cooked remove it from the heat and stir it into the pan. Add all the spices.
7. Use a tablespoon to fill the quinoa mixture into the eggplant halves. Drizzle with the lemony tahini sauce, sprinkle zaatar and paprika on top, and garnish with chopped parsley and fresh pomegranate seeds!


Photography by Sara Slapochnik