Eggplant with Buttermilk Sauce – IHCC Stuffed or Filled Dishes

This dish occupies the cover of Ottolenghi’s Plenty. The jewel-like ruby-red pomegranate seeds spread over the buttermilk sauce on the eggplant halves grabbed my attention; I bought Plenty as a result. I must have the book for at least over a year and I finally made the dish. If I’ve known this dish is so easy to put together, I’d have probably made it many times over. The prettiness of the dish gives the impression that this plate is a labor of love, not so much of an everyday dish. How wrong I was. Well, it helps to think twice before making snap judgement and check out the facts and details of the recipe.

Nothing is as simple as cutting the whole eggplant in halves, straight through the stalk, which is part of the look. Make a cross-hatch pattern on the flesh with a sharp paring knife. Season and roast the eggplants in a 400°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes.

The buttermilk sauce is made by combining buttermilk, Greek yogurt, olive oil and a crushed garlic clove.

Here come the harsh reality of February. Snow is accumulating quickly outside as I’m writing this post while staying warm inside. It’s not exactly the season for pomegranates.

If you can find whole pomegranates in your area, you are in luck and in for a treat. Follow the instructions in the recipe below to get the seeds out of the fruit. Pounding the halved pomegranate in your palm with a fat wooden spoon, among a few techniques I’ve tried, is what I’ve found to be the most efficient and effective approach. However, if you can’t find the fresh ones, Trader Joe’s sells pomegranate seeds in a container.

Sometimes I can’t resist the temptation for getting some out-of-the season fruits; I miss them. Sometimes you just have to go with the heart. Valentine’s day is right around the corner! I’d indulge in a bunch of shimmering pomegranate seeds instead of a dozen of red roses. Why not?

Please visit IHCC to see how other home cooks take on this week’s challenge of a stuffed or filled dish. Their choices may surprise you.

Note: I you don't have zatar, you can use lemon zest and oregano as a substitute.

Note: If you don’t have zatar, you can use lemon zest and oregano as a substitute.

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  • Reply
    Lydia Filgueras
    February 10, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    Wow! I'm also a little shocked at the simplicity of this gorgeous dish. We're at the end of pomegranate season here, too. The lady at the fruit stand told me she expects the imported pomegranates from China to arrive in March. I'll keep an eye out.

  • Reply
    February 12, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    Oh how pretty this dish is, and looks so healthy and delicious. Triple win!

  • Reply
    February 12, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    Pomegranate seeds over roses works for me, too! This certainly is an eye-catching and cover-worthy dish. I, too, thought there was much more to this dish until you pointed out the simple directions. It certainly is a stunner on the plate. Pretty, and romantic, yet rustic at the same time.

    Our co-host, Sue, use to freeze pomegranate seeds so she would have them year round. She said they froze beautifully.

  • Reply
    February 12, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    Kim, that's a very helpful tip. Thanks for pointing it to you. That way, I'd have pomegranate seeds year round. What a cool idea!

  • Reply
    February 13, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    I saw some pomegranates in the store, now I'm not looking. Don't know where they come from. But they are here!

  • Reply
    February 15, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    When I saw the picture I immediately thought of Ottolenghi. I like all ingredients of this dish; buttermilk, yogurt, aubergine and pomegranate. This is a stunning picture.

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