Meatless Monday–Roasted Eggplant with Buttermilk Sauce–and a GIVEAWAY!

I’m so excited to have my first-ever giveaway here on Apple a Day!  I’ve toyed with the idea over the past year or so, but never could settle on an item I knew my readers would love.  Last week, while doing a little shopping with my mom, I found the item–a cookbook that literally caused me to veer off course to go grab it.  The cover image of gorgeous deep-roasted eggplants with a creamy white dressing flecked with bright, shiny pomegranate seeds just had me.  As I flipped through the book, the recipes–every single one of them vegetarian–got better and better.  Caramelized garlic tart, zucchini and hazelnut salad, lentils with tomatoes and Gorgonzola, mango and coconut rice salad–I knew I had to try them all.  And I knew my readers, especially those of you who’ve commented on my Meatless Monday series, would love it too.  So I bought two copies.  One for me and one for one of you.

So what is this incredible cookbook, you ask?  It’s called Plenty and it’s written by Chef Yotam Ottolenghi of London’s Ottolenghi restaurants

roasted eggplant

The eggplant did not disappoint, but I did make a couple of tiny adjustments with it.  First, I used dried cranberries in place of pomegranate seeds because, well, pomegranates are seriously out of season right now.  I think red currants would also work well.  Secondly, I used regular thyme in place of the difficult-to-find lemon thyme which was called for.  Finally, I adjusted the cooking time and temperature for the eggplant.  Ottolenghi suggests roasting at 200 degrees F, but after 25 minutes in the oven, the eggplant still hadn’t even begun to roast.  I increased the temperature and the time a bit.   Served with warm whole wheat pita, it was delicious.  It was like baba ganoush with an extra couple layers of flavor.

So how do you win this fantastic cookbook?  Simple!  Just leave a comment before Friday, July 22nd (The winner will be chosen on that day.  The winner has been chosen.  Giveaway is now closed.) telling me your favorite vegetarian dish.  I’ll use a random number generator to choose a winner and I’ll e-mail that person.  If you don’t have a blog, please make sure you leave your e-mail address so I can contact you.  U.S. entrants only, please.  Good luck!

Roasted Eggplant with Buttermilk Sauce

very slightly adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi, Plenty


2 large, long eggplants

1/3 c. olive oil

1 1/2 tsp. thyme leaves, plus whole sprigs for garnish 

sea salt and black pepper

1/2 c. dried cranberries, red currants, or pomegranate seeds

1 tsp. za-atar

For the dressing:

1/2 c. plus 1 TBSP buttermilk

1/2 c. Greek yogurt

1 1/2 TBSP olive oil, plus a drizzle to finish

1 small garlic clove, minced

pinch of salt


1.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise, cutting straight through the green stem.  (Stem is left on for aesthetics.)  Using a small knife and taking care not to go through the skin, make three or four incisions on the cut side of the eggplant going on both diagonals to create a diamond pattern.

2.  Place the eggplant halves on a baking sheet with the cut side up.  Brush with olive oil until all oil has been absorbed by the flesh.  Sprinkle with the thyme leaves and some sea salt and black pepper.

3.  Place in the oven to roast for 45-50 minutes.  Be sure to check eggplant as its size will largely affect the roasting time.  The eggplant should be soft and nicely browned.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.  

4.  Meanwhile, make the sauce by whisking together all ingredients.  Check seasoning and adjust, if necessary.  Keep refrigerated until needed.

5.  To serve, evenly divide buttermilk sauce over eggplants, taking care not to cover the stems.  Sprinkle with za-atar and cranberries, currants, or pomegranate seeds and garnish with thyme sprigs.  Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.  Serves four as a starter or side.

one year ago: easy, delicious carnitas

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  1. Evi
    July 18, 2011 / 10:51 am

    My favorite vegetable dish this time of the year is a gazpacho! A soup to cool you off in the heat, and takes advantage of the fresh tomatoes!

  2. Jacquie
    July 18, 2011 / 11:58 am

    I love stuffed anything… stuffed peppers, acorn squash, zuuchini. They're all so versitile with the changing of seasons, vessle and fillings that they're never boring and non-vegetarians love them as well. However, I will say during the summer, stuffed zucchini blossoms are my favorite "treat" dish. So delicate, cheesy and delicious!

  3. Carrie
    July 18, 2011 / 12:03 pm

    Being mostly vegetarian, most of my favorite dishes are vegetarian. But right now I could really go for a goat cheese and heirloom tomato tart.

  4. Krissy
    July 18, 2011 / 12:41 pm

    I love eggplant parmesan, but would love to work some more vegetarian meals into my rotation so this cookbook would be perfect!

  5. Anonymous
    July 18, 2011 / 12:49 pm

    Anything with some spice-indian, thai, mediterranean…

  6. Pretend Chef
    July 18, 2011 / 2:07 pm

    I have seen this cookbook on several occasions in the last couple of weeks. The cover is crave worthy and a must have cookbook. What a generous giveaway! My favorite vegetarian dish is Carrot and Ginger Soup from Health magazine.

  7. Cooking With Abandon
    July 18, 2011 / 2:17 pm

    I just tried a vegan peanut sauce vegi noodle dish. it was awesome.

  8. Rose
    July 18, 2011 / 3:23 pm

    I love eggplant, and that looks so yummy. The cookbook looks great. I'll have to check it out.

  9. That Girl
    July 18, 2011 / 3:30 pm

    Those salads sound amazing. My favorite vegetarian meal though would have to be butternut squash lasagna. It's time consuming, but so worth it!

  10. Катя
    July 18, 2011 / 3:32 pm

    This looks like a wonderful cookbook. My favorite vegetarian dish is falafel and hummus. Mmmmmm.

  11. Colleen
    July 18, 2011 / 3:51 pm

    Caprese Salad is my most favorite Vegetarian Dish!!!!

  12. Krystal
    July 18, 2011 / 4:41 pm

    Im loving MM's, too. I have a couple faves – caprese pizza and ratatouille are in my top two! Nice giveaway Kelsey!

  13. Heather Lynne
    July 18, 2011 / 4:58 pm

    I love making stir fry tofu or eggplant parmesan. Those are 2 big veggie dishes in our house!

  14. Mary Loyal
    July 18, 2011 / 5:06 pm

    I am just getting into vegetarian cooking and would love to have that neat book as a guide! My favorite dish so far was a Cooking Light Eggplant Parmesan. It was amazing!!

  15. Jinny
    July 18, 2011 / 5:14 pm

    my favorite vegetable dish is quinoa mixed with golden raisins, scallions, nuts, and a light lemony vinaigrette

  16. Anonymous
    July 18, 2011 / 5:26 pm

    This recipe looks amazing!My favorite vegetarian dish this time of year is Ina Garten's pasta with pecorino and peppercorns. It's amazing! I add cherry tomatoes to it (which she does on the show, but does not appear in the online version of the recipe), which totally make the dish. It's a great, light and fresh summer supper.

  17. MrsGalvan
    July 18, 2011 / 5:59 pm

    Love making zucchini cakes:) SO good!

  18. Bailey
    July 18, 2011 / 7:22 pm

    My favorite is Eggplant Parm! So yummy!

  19. Cate
    July 18, 2011 / 7:52 pm

    Wow… just ONE favorite vegetarian dish? That's super hard, but right now I think it's Thai green curry with tofu

  20. Kristina
    July 18, 2011 / 8:06 pm

    I'm a sucker for homemade hummus or baba ganoush.

  21. Anonymous
    July 18, 2011 / 9:00 pm

    What a great first giveaway – this book looks fantastic. My favorite vegetarian meal is lentil enchiladas. I've made them twice in the past few months, and I normally never repeat recipes. They are delicious!

  22. Amy
    July 18, 2011 / 10:23 pm

    Hmmmm, I love some indian spiced chickpeas with some naan!

  23. Anonymous
    July 19, 2011 / 4:00 pm

    What a great giveaway! The eggplant looks fab! I think my favorite vegetarian meal is just a simple pasta dressed with fresh tomatoes, fresh basil and a pit of parmesan cheese. YUM!

  24. Kira
    July 19, 2011 / 4:16 pm

    Ooo, I don't know if I could pick my favorite vegetarian dish, but it would probably be something Mexican like black bean & spinach enchiladas.That cookbook does look gorgeous!

  25. Ashlee
    July 19, 2011 / 5:05 pm

    this book looks great! my favorite vegetarian dishes are grain based salads with lots of fresh veggies, dried fruit, nuts, beans, and a light vinaigrette. so refreshing and can be made any time of year with whatever produce is available.

  26. Hannah
    July 19, 2011 / 5:43 pm

    I am a vegetarian and have been for the last year. I love thai curry dishes. I could eat them every day. Thanks for the giveaway!

  27. jsrogers2
    July 19, 2011 / 8:05 pm

    Especially this time of year, my favorite vegetable dish is ratatouille with eggs poached right into it.

  28. CL
    July 20, 2011 / 12:06 am

    My fave would be poached eggs with quinoa cakes!

  29. katie
    July 20, 2011 / 12:41 am

    My favorite vegetarian dish is penne a la vodka, pure heaven on a plate.

  30. Brianne
    July 20, 2011 / 4:40 am

    My favorite vegetarian dish would have to be kale chips. They are delicious, so easy, so cheap, and so addicting! Definitely worth a try!

  31. Allison
    July 20, 2011 / 12:08 pm

    The eggplant sounds so good. I have been roasting a lot of eggplant lately. Eggplant Parmesan is an all time favorite but lately quinoa salads and bakes have been summer staples.

  32. Sarah
    July 20, 2011 / 1:31 pm

    That eggplant sounds delicious. I would love to win the cookbook.

  33. DebW
    July 20, 2011 / 8:18 pm

    To pick a favorite vegetarian dish is so hard…. Our favorite at the moment is Summer pasta with Cherry tomatoes, zuchini, summer squash and whatever other vegetables I can get my hands on that day. Light and perfect!

  34. Pyjammy Pam
    July 20, 2011 / 8:33 pm

    I love butternut squash soup!

  35. Rachel
    July 20, 2011 / 10:10 pm

    I eat vegetarian food most of the time, so it's hard to pick a favorite dish. I have been really enjoying salads from the farmer's market and making my own pizzas lately though.

  36. Lindsey @ Enjoying Healthy Foods
    July 20, 2011 / 10:13 pm

    I have lots of favorite recipes!!!! 🙂 one of my favorites is roasted vegetables and mixed in with pasta noodles and sauce…

  37. Allison
    July 21, 2011 / 12:07 am

    As a vegetarian it is hard to choose just one dish, but I would have to say I really like butternut squash lasagna. If I had to choose one appetizer it would be hummus. YUM!

  38. Rita
    July 21, 2011 / 1:20 am

    My favorite vegetarian dish is brushetta! I love that stuff. I have been trying to incorporate more veggies into my diet and would love to win this cookbook.

  39. Bridget
    July 21, 2011 / 4:43 pm

    I don't think I could choose one favorite vegetarian dish! Lately I've been really digging a combination of whole grains (farro is what I'm using most often), lentils, caramelized onions, and feta, spiced up with lemon juice and sriracha. It's so good, and so healthy. It's also dinner tonight. 🙂

  40. Yasmine
    July 22, 2011 / 12:45 am

    My favorite veggie dish would have to be Indian lentils (daal) with spicy tomato curry and rice! the cookbook looks great!

  41. Alice
    July 22, 2011 / 11:59 am

    My favorite is roasted peppers in homemade tomato sauce (sauteed onions, fresh chopped tomatoes, parsley, a bit a garlic and a couple of teaspoons of salt/sugar, to taste). So good…

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