Have I ever got a treat for anyone who loves Middle-Eastern cuisine. This grilled eggplant with tahini dressing recipe makes for a yummy meal that’s completely paleo-friendly and is great for anyone following a vegan diet as well. It can be served as an appetizer or as a tasty snack whenever you’re craving something healthy to munch on. Grilled eggplants are fantastic to use in paleo recipes, and they’re one of my favorite veggies to cook with. When you add in our great homemade tahini dressing, these grilled eggplants are as close to perfection as you can get.
Tahini, A Grain-Free and Gluten-Free Salad Dressing Base
If you’re not familiar with just what exactly tahini is, it’s a type of seed butter made using sesame seeds. It’s commonly used in many Middle Eastern dishes and it’s usually added to hummus or baba ghanoush. Before making your sesame butter, you must first take sesame seeds that have been hulled, ground, and toasted. They are then processed with olive oil to make a thick butter-like spread.
Tahini is incredibly nutritious, as it contains 16 grams of heart-healthy fats, 5 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and absolutely no sugar in just one serving. Sesame seeds have been shown to have benefits when it comes to helping to prevent certain hormone-based cancers, due to the sesamin and sesamol lignans contained in them. (1) The seeds are also high in magnesium, making them great for bone health and support, and even effective in relieving symptoms of arthritis. (2)
Grilling, A Heart-Healthy Cooking Method
Grilling is one of the best cooking methods around since you don’t need much oil, and it gets the job done quickly. Some people prefer grilling outdoors and I wholeheartedly agree because you get that nice smokey flavor, however, when the weather gets cooler, I also like using my smokeless indoor griddler. Best part about it is I can use it for making pancakes, waffles and sandwiches as well.
When you add tahini in with lemon juice and olive oil, it adds a nice tangy flavor and boosts the heart-healthy fat content even further. This dressing also calls for garlic cloves and chopped parsley for added flavor and garnishing, and even includes some extra sesame seeds to round it all out. It’s incredibly easy to prepare and takes no time at all. It goes incredibly well with the grilled eggplant, and can serve as a light appetizer to a meat-based entree.
It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of sampling food dishes from all around the world, especially if they’re also paleo approved. I find that most recipes can be adapted to become paleo-friendly, and this was no exception and took barely any substitutions. It’s full of heart-healthy fats, delicious flavors, and it just looks delicious when served.
- 2 large eggplants
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp tahini (sesame butter)
- 1 tsp sesame seeds, toasted
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley plus extra for garnish
- salt, black pepper to taste
- To make the dressing, mix all the ingredients in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and black pepper and set aside.
- Slice each eggplant in half lengthwise, then cut each half into quarters lengthwise.
- Sprinkle the eggplants with salt and place in a colander.
- Set aside for 10 minutes.
- Rinse, then pat dry with paper towel.
- Brush with 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Heat a grill pan to high heat.
- Grill the eggplants for 4 minutes per side or until tender.
- Sprinkle with extra parsley and serve with tahini dressing.
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Want more Paleo recipes? Take a look at the Paleo Grubs Book. With 470+ easy-to-prepare Paleo recipes in 17 comprehensive categories it is the only Paleo book you will ever need.
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