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Burnt eggplant, tomato and tahini

This dish was born out of some leftover tomato pasta sauce, as well asa few eggplants that really needed using up. Scoop this up with warm pita bread and eat it alongside other mezze, or with soft-boiled eggs for a hearty breakfast.


To get Yotam and Noor's new cookbook 'Ottolenghi Test Kitchen', click here.



  • 4 medium eggplants (2 lb 2 oz/1kg)
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, roughly crushed with a mortar and pestle
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, roughly crushed with a mortar and pestle
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile flakes
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1/4 cup/5g dill, roughly chopped, plus 1 tablespoon extra leaves to serve

Tomato sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped (1 1/4 cups/180g)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 (14 oz/400g) can of whole, peeled tomatoes, roughly crushed by hand
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and black pepper


  1. Place a well-greased grill pan on high heat. Prick the eggplants all over with afork, about eight to ten times, and, once smoking, cook them, turning as necessary until well charred all over and softened through the middle, about 45 minutes. Set aside to cool completely and, once cool enough to handle, peel and discard the stems and skins (don’t worry if there’s some skin attached) and roughly pull apart the flesh into strands. Set aside.
  2. Make the tomato sauce. Put the oil into a sauté pan on medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for six minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Addthe garlic and tomato paste and cook for a minute more, then add the tomatoes, sugar, seven tablespoons/100ml of water, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and a generous grind of pepper. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat to medium and cook for 18 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thick and rich.
  3. Make the topping. Heat the oil in a small frying pan on mediumhigh heat, then add the sliced garlic and the pine nuts and cook for 60–90 seconds, or until lightly golden. Add the spices and a tiny pinch of salt and immediately remove from the heat. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the tahini with 2-1/2 tablespoons of water and a tiny pinch of salt until smooth and pourable.
  5. To the tomato sauce, add the burnt eggplant, three tablespoons of water, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and a good grind of pepper and cook on medium-high heat for about five minutes, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped dill. Drizzle all over with the tahini, then spoon on the fried garlic and pine nut mixture and top with the dill leaves. Serve warm.


Reprinted from Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love. Copyright© 2021 by Yotam Ottolenghi. Photographs copyright © 2021 Elena Heatherwick. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House.

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