If you’re looking for a vegetarian low FODMAP recipe, this baked eggplant is super easy, perfect for a low key dinner or room temperature side as part of a larger buffet. It’s adapted from Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem but I made it gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan.
Recently, a friend was asking me for eggplant recipe ideas. She had recently gone low FODMAP, and we were moving into summer when those dark purple plants start popping off. And although it is one of my favorite vegetables, and one of the easiest centerpieces for a vegetarian low FODMAP meal (sorry mushrooms!), I had hardly any to point her towards!
This Turkish eggplant recipe is one of my all-time most popular on the blog, so you’d have thought I would have gotten the hint. Well, all I can say is here we are now and sorry for the delay!
What makes this eggplant recipe low FODMAP and gluten-free?
I’ve always found summertime to be a very easy season to be low FODMAP because it’s when many of the low FODMAP vegetables are at the peak of their season (here is a full list and advice on how to cook for a low FODMAP diet). Just think about a ratatouille minus the garlic and onion.
You’ve got zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes, and…of course…eggplant!
That said, eggplant is also usually fantastic quality year round. I love it as a vegetarian centerpiece because it’s meaty enough to be charred on the grill, or in this case, caramelized in the oven. And when halved, it’s a large enough vehicle to build a complete meal on.
This dish looks like a stuffed eggplant but without all the fuss of having to hallow out a vegetable. And unlike a portobello mushroom cap, which serves a similar purpose, aubergine is not high in FODMAPS.
The chermula eggplant recipe is adapted from Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem, which is one of my favorite books for Mediterranean dishes. He uses bulgar wheat, which is neither gluten-free nor low FODMAP. So I swapped it for quinoa and omitted the yogurt in favor of tahini so that it could be vegan and dairy-free as well.
The only modification you have to make for a low FODMAP diet to my version is omit the garlic. If you can have it, it adds some nice flavor to the chermoula spice marinade.
Another little tweak: I used some of the extra spice marinate to cook the quinoa in for added flavor.
The rest of the toppings and flavorings are all naturally low FODMAP or in low FODMAP quantities: fresh mint, raisins, tahini, lemon juice, slivered almonds and green olives.
Why is this a healthy carb recipe?
As you know, I’m working on a new cookbook all about healthy carbs. The trick is to make sure you’re rounding out your gluten-free grains with lots of fiber-rich plants, protein and healthy fats.
In this case, the latter comes from almonds, tahini and olives.
If you’re a student of the Mediterranean Diet, then you know it really gets the healthy carb equation right. So until CARBIVORE is available for purchase, any book that focuses on this diet will probably have some fabulous healthy carb options, including Ottolenghi’s many volumes!
What can you serve with this baked eggplant recipe?
I love serving this dish as a vegetarian main course. All you need is a simple green salad or this basic bitch kale salad to go with it.
But since it’s also a wonderful option for a room temperature meal you can add it to a big summer BBQ buffet, potluck or picnic. A half eggplant makes for a one person side portion or two for a main course.
Read on for this baked eggplant recipe with quinoa pilaf and tahini sauce!
With health and hedonism,
Ottolenghi-Style Baked Eggplant with Quinoa and Tahini (Low FODMAP Optional)
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper or 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Olive oil
- Sea salt
- 4 small eggplants
- ¾ cup uncooked quinoa
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup tahini
- 1/3 cup pitted green olives halved (about 8)
- 1/4 cup sliced or chopped almonds toasted
- ½ cup chopped mint leaves
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, combine the garlic, cumin, coriander, Aleppo pepper or chili flakes, paprika, 1/3 cup olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt. Mix until a paste forms.
- Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and score the flesh of each half with diagonal crisscross cuts, making sure not to go deep enough to pierce the skin. Arrange the eggplant flesh-side up on the baking sheet. Spoon the spice paste over the flesh of each half, spreading it evenly (any leftover can be used in the quinoa). Transfer to the oven and roast for 40 minutes, or until the eggplant is completely soft and caramelized.
- Meanwhile, cook the quinoa: in a small saucepan combine the quinoa with 1 ¼ cup water, ½ teaspoon salt and any of the remaining spice paste. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Cook until all the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is pearly, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle the raisins over the hot quinoa, replace the lid and set aside covered for 10 minutes.
- Make the sauce: in a small bowl or 2-cup measure, whisk together the tahini and lemon juice. A thick paste will form. Add ¼ cup water and ½ teaspoon salt. Whisk until smooth and about the consistency of yogurt, adding more water as necessary.
- Finish the quinoa: stir in the olives, almonds, and all but 2 tablespoons of mint.
- Arrange the eggplant on a platter and spoon the quinoa over the top. Drizzle with the tahini and garnish with the remaining mint. Enjoy warm or at room temperature!