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Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Pitas with Lemon Tahini Sauce

These warm dog days of summer, forget the oven, even forget your stovetop. Turn on the grill. Whip up a casual summer dinner–roasted eggplant and tomato pitas with lemon tahini sauce.

Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Pitas with Lemon Tahini Sauce | Letty's Kitchen

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you know I’ve been on the road, eating, biking and hiking along the way. After visiting friends in Ketchum Idaho and Bend Oregon, my trusty blue Honda Element brought me to the Columbia River Gorge, the windy stretch of river between Oregon and Washington. Robbie drove up earlier and was already kitesurfing his heart out.

We hang out on the Washington side of the river, in a funky old trailer with a very cozy kitchen–so mostly we cook outside. I forget the fact that our fridge space is at a premium and keep bringing home (almost) more produce that we can juggle.

grilling in shake 'n grill basket for Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Pitas with Lemon Tahini Sauce | Letty's Kitchen

Never fear, a new cooking toy made the trip. Nordic Ware had asked me to create a summer grilling recipe featuring their stainless steel Grill ‘N Shake Basket, so I brought it with me. We grill veggies all the time on a flat grilling tray, especially here in the Gorge. This recipe for roasted eggplant and tomato pitas with lemon tahini sauce comes from playing with veggies in the grilling basket.

prepping eggplant for Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Pitas with Lemon Tahini Sauce | Letty's Kitchen

Nordic Ware’s grilling basket is ideal for stir-fry-roasting the cumin and garlic seasoned eggplant. With lemony tahini sauce, this recipe riffs on the classic Mid-Eastern dip, baba ganoush. If you’ve ever had creamy garlicky baba ganoush, you’ll love the flavor combo going on in these pita pockets.

Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Pitas with Lemon Tahini Sauce | Letty's Kitchen

You’ll also like the ease of making this meal. Stir bright cherry tomatoes, chopped parsley, and green onion into the cumin seasoned roasted eggplant. Then stuff the tender eggplant mix, and crunchy lettuce, into pita pockets. Finish the whole thing off with a generous drizzle of lemon tahini sauce.

Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Pitas with Lemon Tahini Sauce | Letty's Kitchen

Already, our new grill ‘n shake basket has a patina. We’ve roasted zucchini chunks and fingerling potatoes in it, simply shaking them around every so often. We’re hosting a party on Sunday—I’m going to roast spicy chickpea snacks outdoors, in the grill basket instead if the oven. I know it will work and will keep you posted via Instagram and Facebook!

Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Pitas with Lemon Tahini Sauce recipe details and notes:

  • Serve the roasted eggplant and tomato mix as side dish, without the pita bread. One thing though—don’t leave out this easy 5-minute lemon tahini sauce!!
  • My experience is that high quality is what Nordic Ware sells. In my former life as a pastry chef, I spec’d their popover pans for baking chocolate bouchons. At home our treasured 12-inch non-stick skillet happens to be—yep–Nordic Ware. (We love our well-seasoned cast iron skillets, but sometimes non-stick is the only tool for jobs like sautéed tofu.)
  • Nordic Ware is famous for Bundt pans, in fact, they own the copyright to the name. Did you know that? Me neither, not until now. This year they are celebrating 70 years manufacturing bakeware, kitchenware and grillware. Almost everything they sell is made at their plant in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • You will also like this tahini tamari sauce with variations. Vegan tahini sauce is soooo versatile!
  • I received the Grill ‘N Shake basket from Nordic Ware. My opinions about the product are my own and not influenced by Nordic Ware.

Wishing you a fabulous weekend–get outdoors and cook something delicious!

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Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Pitas with Lemon Tahini Sauce | Letty's Kitchen
Print
Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Pitas with Lemon Tahini Sauce
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

Recipe for roasted eggplant, cooked outside using a grill basket. Stuff into pita pockets with tomatoes and lettuce and finish with vegan lemon tahini sauce.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 6 sandwiches.
Ingredients
  • 3 medium eggplants
  • ¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove , minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes , cut in half
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 green onion , chopped
  • About 3 romaine lettuce leaves , cut in ¼-inch ribbons
  • 3 pita pocket bread rounds , cut in half, gently pulled apart to make the pockets
  • Lemony tahini sauce:
  • ½ cup sesame tahini
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. In stripes down the length of the eggplants, peel away half of the purple skin, leaving some skin on to keep the eggplant from falling apart while grilling. (You might not have peel if the eggplant is fresh from the garden or farmer's market.)
  2. Cut the eggplant in 1 to 1 ½-inch chunks. Toss with the first ¼ cup of olive oil. Season with the garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper.
  3. Heat the grill to high—450°F. Spray the grill basket with cooking spray or brush lightly with oil. Place the empty basket on the hot grill for a few minutes. Dump the eggplant into the grill basket, stir to distribute evenly, and close the grill lid. Cook 10 minutes. Stir the eggplant again, close lid and cook another 5 minutes. Repeat and repeat again as needed--the eggplant should be tender with golden char color.
  4. Toss the tomato halves with the remaining olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, and stir into the grilled eggplant. Close lid and cook until the tomatoes are hot, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a platter, mixing in the parsley and green onion.
  5. Mix the sauce: Whisk the tahini and hot water in a bowl until smooth. Whisk in the lemon juice, garlic, cumin, and salt.
  6. Tuck lettuce and the eggplant mix into the pockets. Drizzle generously with tahini sauce.

8 comments

  • Patricia Constable

    Happy Summer with yummy vegies at the Gorge. We are off to our yurt too. Dinners at the picnic table. Reply · 23 July, 2016

    • You have got to make these in Montana–they are sooo yummy! Thanks Patricia. Reply · 23 July, 2016

  • You hit me at a hungry moment! Reply · 23 July, 2016

    • Thanks Tammy. I’m grilling the eggplant and tomatoes into a salad tonight–with green lentils! Reply · 23 July, 2016

  • This looks so good! The Columbia River Gorge is one of my very favorite places in the world… Reply · 29 July, 2016

    • If you are ever in “The Gorge” in July–let’s connect Rocky Mountain Woman! Reply · 1 August, 2016

  • I saw you post a video of Robby digging into this and I’ve been thinking about it since. I bought some eggplant at the farmers market last week and roasted it for lasagna. I need to pick up some more on Wednesday and give this a go! Reply · 1 August, 2016

    • Hi Kelley–let me know how these eggplant pitas come out for you. The grill pan is pretty cool. I’m using it a lot! Reply · 5 August, 2016

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