Inspired by my little baby eggplants, I decided to quickly grill them to retain their flavor and composure. I grilled the pita too, spicing it up with some whole cumin seeds, a tip I got from eating street food in China. They grilled meats, and veggies like eggplant, and served it in your hand piping hot, so you would always struggle to find the correct change. It was delicious, one of the best meatless dishes I’ve had, so I tried to recreate it here. I added some Mediterranean flair. Its much like an open-faced sandwich so there are many possibilities.
Ingredients (for 1):
- 1/2 wheat pita
- 1 t whole cumin seeds*
- 1 baby eggplant
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 slices tomato or a few cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1/4 onion, sliced
- 1/2 Tbsp feta crumbles*
- 1 pinch parsley
- 1 dash olive oil
*For vegan, substitute with 1/4 avocado or hummus.
*If you don’t like whole cumin seeds, you can substitute for paprika.
1. Slice eggplant. Place on paper towel. Salt eggplant, use 1/4 tsp or just enough to sprinkle evenly on eggplant. Leave for 5 minutes to remove bitterness. After 5 minutes, rinse briefly under cold water. Dry on paper towel.
2. Heat a nonstick such as George Foreman or panini machine. If you don’t have a grill, use a nonstick pan. Get grill HOT.
3. Grill eggplant and sliced onions. Weigh down with grill press or large pot to get nice grill marks. Grill for about 5-8 minutes or until eggplant is soft.
4. Slice the pita in half, or pull apart to open it up. Reserve the other side for your friend or for later use.
5. Wet the pita for just a second under cold running water. Immediately sprinkle 1 t cumin seeds on open-face, soft side of the pita. Place the pita on the grill, soft side up, and press cumin seeds into bread with heavy pot. Grill both sides for a couple minutes turning a quarter of a rotation to get # marks on the bread. Its only for good looks!
6. For assembly, place about 3-4 slices eggplant, then tomato, feta, and torn parsley on top. Put a dash ~1 t olive oil if desired for luscious look.
What’s in the Fridge? by Chef Joanna is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.