I'm so excited to have my first-ever giveaway here on Apple a Day! I've toyed with the idea over the past year or so, but never could settle on an item I knew my readers would love. Last week, while doing a little shopping with my mom, I found the item--a cookbook that literally caused me to veer off course to go grab it. The cover image of gorgeous deep-roasted eggplants with a creamy white dressing flecked with bright, shiny pomegranate seeds just had me. As I flipped through the book, the recipes--every single one of them vegetarian--got better and better. Caramelized garlic tart, zucchini and hazelnut salad, lentils with tomatoes and Gorgonzola, mango and coconut rice salad--I knew I had to try them all. And I knew my readers, especially those of you who've commented on my Meatless Monday series, would love it too. So I bought two copies. One for me and one for one of you.
So what is this incredible cookbook, you ask? It's called Plenty and it's written by Chef Yotam Ottolenghi of London's Ottolenghi restaurants.
The eggplant did not disappoint, but I did make a couple of tiny adjustments with it. First, I used dried cranberries in place of pomegranate seeds because, well, pomegranates are seriously out of season right now. I think red currants would also work well. Secondly, I used regular thyme in place of the difficult-to-find lemon thyme which was called for. Finally, I adjusted the cooking time and temperature for the eggplant. Ottolenghi suggests roasting at 200 degrees F, but after 25 minutes in the oven, the eggplant still hadn't even begun to roast. I increased the temperature and the time a bit. Served with warm whole wheat pita, it was delicious. It was like baba ganoush with an extra couple layers of flavor.
So how do you win this fantastic cookbook? Simple! Just leave a comment before Friday, July 22nd (
The winner will be chosen on that day. The winner has been chosen. Giveaway is now closed.) telling me your favorite vegetarian dish. I'll use a random number generator to choose a winner and I'll e-mail that person. If you don't have a blog, please make sure you leave your e-mail address so I can contact you. U.S. entrants only, please. Good luck!
Roasted Eggplant with Buttermilk Sauce
very slightly adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi, Plenty
2 large, long eggplants
1/3 c. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. thyme leaves, plus whole sprigs for garnish
sea salt and black pepper
1/2 c. dried cranberries, red currants, or pomegranate seeds
1 tsp. za-atar
For the dressing:
1/2 c. plus 1 TBSP buttermilk
1/2 c. Greek yogurt
1 1/2 TBSP olive oil, plus a drizzle to finish
1 small garlic clove, minced
pinch of salt
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise, cutting straight through the green stem. (Stem is left on for aesthetics.) Using a small knife and taking care not to go through the skin, make three or four incisions on the cut side of the eggplant going on both diagonals to create a diamond pattern.
2. Place the eggplant halves on a baking sheet with the cut side up. Brush with olive oil until all oil has been absorbed by the flesh. Sprinkle with the thyme leaves and some sea salt and black pepper.
3. Place in the oven to roast for 45-50 minutes. Be sure to check eggplant as its size will largely affect the roasting time. The eggplant should be soft and nicely browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
4. Meanwhile, make the sauce by whisking together all ingredients. Check seasoning and adjust, if necessary. Keep refrigerated until needed.
5. To serve, evenly divide buttermilk sauce over eggplants, taking care not to cover the stems. Sprinkle with za-atar and cranberries, currants, or pomegranate seeds and garnish with thyme sprigs. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil. Serves four as a starter or side.