Roasted Eggplant, Tomatoes and Herbs with Greek Yogurt

August 7, 2018

Greek Roasted eggplant with tomato

Eggplant is one of those vegetables that just doesn’t seem like a vegetable. When cooked, it so rich and I would even say decadent. In Greek cuisine it is always cooked with tomatoes and onions. In most cases it is accompanied with tangy feta to complement the rich eggplant. In this recipe of roasted eggplant with tomatoes and herbs, I accompany it with cold creamy and refreshing yogurt instead of feta for a lighter result.

I was inspired by an appetizer that I had last August on the island of Kithira: creamy Greek yogurt topped with sweet roasted eggplant. It was delicious. For this recipe, we do not fry the eggplant as is common in many eggplant recipes, they are roasted instead with a rich tomato sauce. This dish can then be served in various ways: served as a main vegetarian course accompanied with a big dollop of Greek yogurt, or it can be served as I had it last summer, by placing some yogurt in a small bowl and topping it with the eggplant and dipping bread or pita in it. It also would work great as a bruschetta topping or with pasta. And please note, this is served at room temperature not hot, it is important to let it sit for a few hours after it is cooked.

Eggplant and Yogurt Dip

Is it OK to eat eggplant?

Eggplant belongs to a group of flowering plants known as nightshades. Unfortunately many so-called health bloggers and other “experts” have been saying that vegetables or fruit that belong to this group such as eggplant, okra, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes (in other words many common vegetables used in the Mediterranean diet) may cause inflammation and a bunch of other ailments. The reality is that science has not shown that these vegetables harm people in any way, in fact quite the opposite: eggplant and other vegetables are rich in fiber and antioxidants protecting from chronic disease and are an important part of the Mediterranean diet. However, eggplant as well as okra are high in fiber and may cause some discomfort if you are not used to eating them.

Roasted Eggplant, Tomato and Herbs with Greek Yogurt

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Category: appetizer, dip,

Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean, Vegetarian

Yield: 2-4

Roasted Eggplant, Tomato and Herbs with Greek Yogurt

Ingredients

  • About 5 medium “Sicilian” style eggplant (about 6 inches long) or if you use the Italian style use about 4 depending on the size, chopped in cubes.
  • 1/3 cup olive oil + 2 tablespoons
  • 2 whole tomatoes chopped or about 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ cup chopped parsley plus more for serving
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt

Instructions

  1. Place the eggplant in a colander and sprinkle with about a tablespoon coarse salt and let it sit for 30 minutes to remove bitterness. Rinse with plenty of water and squeeze to get the water out. Dry on a towel.
  2. Preheat oven at 400 degrees F (200 C).
  3. Place eggplant in a bowl, drizzle with 1/3 cup olive oil, mix well so that all eggplant is covered with olive oil. Empty contents in ovenproof casserole dish so that eggplant is fairly close together but still in one layer, add about ¼ cup of warm water in the corner of the casserole dish and tilt it so it spreads throughout (do not pour water over eggplant as this will rinse the olive oil). Cover with aluminum foil and roast for 10 minutes. Lower temperature to 350 F (180 C) and continue to roast until eggplant is soft (about 15 more minutes). Add additional hot water 2 tablespoons at a time, if they are drying out.
  4. Meanwhile in a pan sauté the onions with the olive oil for about 4 minutes until soft, add garlic and sauté for another minute, add tomato, sugar, parsley pepper, salt (as needed) and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Remove eggplant from oven and add tomato sauce, gently mix and put back in the oven. Roast for about 10 minutes more. Remove from the oven and let it cool.
  6. Serve as a main at room temperature with big dollop of yogurt and a sprinkling of parsley or as a dip layering it in a dipping bowl.

SAVE FOR LATER AND PIN IT!

Roasted Eggplant with tomato sauce and Greek Yogurt

Images by Elena Paravantes © All Rights Reserved

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12 Comments

  • Reply Barbara Behar August 9, 2018 at 11:23 am

    This looks delicious and I will certainly make it. I would appreciate your adding either weight or volume measurements to the list of ingredients in your recipes, even if it’s an approximation.

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN August 9, 2018 at 1:23 pm

      Thanks Barbara! We use mostly volume measurements. Please send us a note if you need clarification for a recipe.

      • Reply Katie August 12, 2018 at 7:49 pm

        Thanks Elena – I agree with Barbara. I would think a more helpful volume measurement would read something like 3 cups of eggplant chopped into 1/2 inch cubes. That could be several small ones or one large one, for instance. This recipe sounds great.

  • Reply Lolat August 9, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    Hi!
    I’m curious, why have you used the quotation marks in Sicilian?
    And let me add that Sicily is as much the home of the Mediterranean diet as Greece.

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN August 9, 2018 at 1:22 pm

      Hi, It is in quotes because I am referring to a style of eggplant, not that they are actually from Sicily. Yes, please note in my articles I always refer to Southern Italy when referring to the Mediterranean Diet.

  • Reply Angela August 9, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    Hi Elena,
    Personally, I have not found eggplants (atleast in the US) to be bitter anymore like I remember many decades ago–could this be because I buy them fresher, or because I buy them smaller most times, I don’t know.
    In any case, I have found that the tedious and time consuming process of salting and draining is not needed…and I cook many Greek recipes with eggplant and quite often.
    Just a friendly note! 🙂

  • Reply Ken Wightman August 9, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    I agree with Angela. Neither my wife nor I have found our locally purchased eggplant to be bitter. That said, the recipe sounds very good. I will try it and serve it my wife. Cheers!

  • Reply Maria August 15, 2018 at 12:18 am

    I made this and served it over orzo and crumbled feta cheese. It was delicious. One question: should you peel the eggplant? I didn’t, but was wondering if I should have.

  • Reply Nick August 16, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    Roasted eggplants paired with tomatoes is a classic Greek combination. The addition of the Greek yogurt makes for a refreshing twist!

  • Reply Janet Wilkin August 20, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    I’ve just had this for my evening meal. I cheated a bit because I was busy and didn’t have much time to spend. I put oil on the aubergine then layered all the other ingredients, except the yogurt, and cooked it slowly in my halogen oven. It turned out really well and was delicious

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN August 21, 2018 at 8:29 am

      Thanks for sharing Janet! Have never used a halogen oven, interesting appliance.

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