Image: Jonathan Lovekin
This version of the classic southern Levantine dish is topped with eggplant, ground beef, pomegranate and pine nuts, making it extra tasty.
- 4 pita breads, split open and cut into nacho-sized triangles
- 2 cups plain whole milk Greek yogurt
- 5 tbsp tahini, at room temperature
- 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 to 4 tsp kosher or sea salt, or to taste, divided
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 3⅔ cups cubed eggplant
- 2 tsp each: cumin and coriander
- 1 tsp Aleppo pepper or paprika, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 lb extra-lean ground beef
- ⅓ cup pomegranate seeds, for garnish
- ⅓ cup toasted pine nuts, for garnish
- 1 tbsp finely shredded mint leaves
1 Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spread the pita triangles out onto a large baking sheet and toast until crisp, 10 to 15 minutes; set aside.
2 Beat the yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, garlic and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a heatproof bowl that will later sit over a saucepan. Taste to see if you want to add any more salt; set aside.
3 Warm the oil in a wide, shallow heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven and cook the onion over a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes; reduce the heat to low and cook, still stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and a pale caramel colour, about 4 minutes.
4 Turn the heat up to medium, add the eggplant and stir well; cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes.
5 Stir in the cumin, coriander and 1 teaspoon each of the salt and Aleppo pepper. Increase the heat to high and add the beef. Cook until no longer pink. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Taste and add more salt, if necessary; remove from the heat.
6 Pour some just-boiled water into a fresh saucepan, enough to come about 1. inches up the sides, and place over low heat. Sit the bowl with the yogurt-tahini mixture on top, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Beat the mixture well, until the yogurt is slightly above room temperature and has the consistency of lightly whipped cream.
7 To assemble, arrange the pita triangles on a large round plate. Top with the eggplant-beef mixture, followed by the yogurt-tahini sauce. Lightly dust with more of the Aleppo pepper. Scatter the pomegranate seeds and pine nuts overtop, followed by the mint. Eat with your fingers, nacho style.
Serves: 4 to 6
Excerpted from At My Table: A Celebration of Home Cooking by Nigella Lawson. Recipes Copyright © 2018. Photography copyright © 2018 Jonathan Lovekin. Excerpted by permission of Random House. All rights reserved.