Here, crostini gets the Middle Eastern treatment, with a mix of tender roasted eggplant and sultry red onions flavored with whole cumin seeds and drizzled with tahini and honey. If you have silan (a Middle Eastern, molasses-colored syrup made from dates, also called date honey, try using it in place of the honey.
Roasted Eggplant and Tahini Crostini
- Cooking and Prep: 1.5 h
- Serves: 6
Prepare the Eggplant and Crostini
Peel the eggplant with a serrated knife. Starting at the top, gently saw downward, following the curve of the fruit. Cut the eggplant into bite-size cubes, place in a colander, sprinkle with two tablespoons salt, and mix with your hands to coat. Let stand for 45 minutes, then rinse well and thoroughly pat dry with paper towels. Don’t skimp on the drying, or your eggplant will get mushy.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.
Spread the eggplant cubes on a large rimmed baking sheet; drizzle with two tablespoons of the olive oil and season with pepper. Roast, stirring occasionally, until soft and browned in spots, 20 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining two tablespoons olive oil in a medium pan set over medium-low heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the cumin seeds and garlic and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, one to two minutes. Remove from the heat, add the eggplant cubes, and stir to combine. Taste and season with more salt and pepper, if desired. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, brush one side of the bread slices with a little olive oil and place on a large baking sheet. Bake, turning once, until crisp and golden, eight to 10 minutes total. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
Spread each bread slice with one to two teaspoons yogurt, and top with a layer of the eggplant-onion mixture. Drizzle with tahini and honey and sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately. (If not serving right away, you can prepare the various components of this dish up to eight hours ahead of time and assemble the crostini just before serving. Store the eggplant-onion mixture in the refrigerator, but let them come to room temperature before topping the crostini.)
Recipes by Leah Koenig from Modern Jewish Cooking
Photos by Sang An