Weekend recipe: sumac roasted eggplant with maple tahini dressing from 'Plant Magic'

A delicious way to enjoy eggplant for dinner

Image for Weekend recipe: Sumac roasted eggplant with maple tahini dressing from 'Plant Magic'

There is never a bad time of year to lean "vegetable" when you're preparing a tasty meal for family and friends at home. Of course, peak summer cooking is always a plus as nearly every veggie you love can be found locally-grown...and maybe even in your own backyard.

With a plethora of produce at your finger tips, you're going to need all the culinary inspiration you can get. Plant Magic: A Celebration of Plant-Based Cooking For Everyone, by Desiree Nielsen, offers just that with a spectrum recipes using vegetables (and plant-based proteins) in clever and approachable ways.

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"I cannot write a cookbook without an eggplant recipe (or two!) because I love this vegetable so much," explains Desiree Nielsen in the introduction to this recipe in Plant Magic. "I will happily gobble up all four servings of this eggplant—roasted until its flesh is creamy, sprinkled with citrusy sumac and fresh mint, and drizzled with maple syrup–spiked tahini—with zero complaints."

Sumac roasted eggplant with maple tahini dressing

Sumac-Roasted Eggplant

4 Chinese eggplants

2 tablespoons (30 mL) avocado oil

1¼ teaspoons (6 mL) ground sumac, plus more for serving

½ teaspoon (2 mL) salt Freshly cracked black pepper


Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise. Using a paring knife, score the halves diagonally, spaced ½ inch (1 cm) apart. Place the eggplant cut side up on the prepared baking sheet.

Brush the eggplant with the avocado oil. Sprinkle with the sumac, salt, and lots of pepper. Turn the eggplant halves over so they are cut side down on the baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and roast until soft and golden brown on the cut side, about 45 minutes.


Maple Tahini Drizzle

2 tablespoons (30 mL) tahini

1 tablespoon (15 mL) pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon (15 mL) water

⅛ teaspoon (0.5 mL) salt


In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, maple syrup, water, and salt.


For serving

Flaky sea salt

1⁄3 cup (75 mL) packed fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced


To serve, pile the eggplant on a serving platter. Spoon the maple tahini drizzle over the eggplant. Sprinkle with a bit more sumac, flaky sea salt, and mint. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. (I like to chop and fry the leftover eggplant, then add a bit of water and any leftover maple tahini drizzle until warmed through.)

Want more seasonal recipe ideas? Check out Dan Clapson's best-selling cookbook 'Prairie'!

Serves 4