A quick vegetarian weeknight dinner. Roasted eggplant and white beans spiced with zaatar and topped with a super easy tahini sauce, all wrapped up in butter lettuce cups!
- 1 large eggplant, diced
- 1 small onion or shallot, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 ½ teaspoons zaatar
- 1 15oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
- Butter lettuce
Lemon garlic tahini
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 1 garlic clove
- Preheat oven to 450.
- Toss 1 large diced eggplant and 1 small, thinly sliced onion/shallot with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 2 ½ teaspoons zaatar until everything is well coated and combined.
- Arrange everything in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes.
- Take pan out of oven, add 1 15oz can of drained and rinsed beans to pan and toss everything together. Sometimes I like to add a little more olive oil and zaatar at this point. Roast for an additional 10 minutes, until eggplant is soft and caramelized and beans start to turn a very light brown.
- While eggplant and beans roast, make lemon-tahini sauce: whisk together 2 tablespoons each of tahini, lemon juice, water and olive oil until smooth. Grate in 1 garlic clove and season with salt to taste.
- Serve eggplant in beans in lettuce cups, drizzled with tahini sauce.
One of the biggest surprises of my adult life has been my sudden desire to cook and eat eggplant. As a child, I would literally gag if I even saw eggplant, which I know was incredibly annoying for my parents.
I still won't eat it any which way, but if it's roasted until totally caramelized I'm all about eggplant. Or you can fry it and I'll still eat, but that's silly so we're not doing that. YET.
I love this dish, because while it's SUPER healthy, it's so flavorful and filling. Adding the beans to the sheet pan while the eggplant finishes roasting adds an extra depth of flavor, and the lemon garlic tahini just finishes it all off.
The sauce is a simple take on my all purpose lemon tahini sauce, just with a little garlic added in. So easy to make, and keeps really well in the fridge so you can add it to just about anything.
If you're looking at this and wondering how in the world I can consider this a meal, I assure you the combination of eggplant and beans makes this really substantial. But! If you must, feel free to add some potatoes (regular or sweet) to the pan and roast those along with the eggplant. Or cauliflower would be awesome too.
If you don't need this to be vegetarian, add some ground raw sausage and let that cook up as well (like it does in this sheet pan gnocchi!).
Also, while we're on the subject of adapting this recipe, I should note that you certainly don't have to use lettuce wraps here. Regular ol' tortillas are obviously a good choice. I just happen to love the crunch of the lettuce, and the mix of warm filling and cool wrap.
Easy weeknight dinner here we come!