Patty Pan Squash & Eggplant Casserole (Fattet Al-Betenjane)

July 12, 2022

Inspired by the Fattet Al-Betenjane at Au Za’atar in the East Village, this layered dish is a celebration of textures. Eggplant and patty pan squash are braised in tomato purée and pomegranate molasses until meltingly tender, then layered with spiced chickpeas, crunchy pita chips, garlic labneh, and butter toasted pine nuts and cranberries, all topped with fresh pomegranate seeds. We recommend digging into this with a spoon and eating it with more crunchy pita chips and fresh, soft pita.



2 Local Roots patty pan squash

2 eggplant, medium

1 Tbsp. olive oil

16 oz. tomato puree

¼  cup pomegranate molasses

1 ½ cup canned chickpeas, drained

⅛ tsp. cloves

⅛ tsp. nutmeg

¼ tsp. cumin

¼ tsp. ground coriander

¼ tsp. black pepper

½ tsp. salt

2 Tbsps. Local Roots unsalted butter

½ cup cranberries

¼ cup pine nuts

1 cup labneh or Local Roots yogurt

1 clove garlic

2 cups pita chips

¼ cup pomegranate seeds



1. Wash and cube the eggplant, then wash and cut the patty pan squash. If you’d like to preserve the scalloped edges of the patty pan squash, cut it in slices, but you can also cube it to match the eggplant.

2. Heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil on medium-high in a nonstick pan and add the eggplant. Sprinkle with ½ tbsp of salt and cook until golden brown on most sides. Add in the patty pan squash, then pour over the tomato puree, pomegranate molasses, and enough water to cover the vegetables. Leave to simmer and reduce for 25-30 minutes.

3. While the vegetables are braising, begin preparing the other layers. In a small pot, drizzle a little bit of olive oil and add the drained chickpeas and the spices: cloves, nutmeg, cumin, ground coriander, black pepper, and salt. Warm on medium, stirring frequently so the spices don’t burn. When the chickpeas have warmed through, set them aside in a separate bowl.

4. In the same small pot, melt 2 Tbsps. of unsalted butter and toast the pine nuts and dried cranberries. Stir until the pine nuts take on a golden brown color and then set aside in a small bowl.

5. Grate one clove of garlic into 1 cup of labneh/yogurt and stir to incorporate.

6. When the eggplant and patty pan squash are tender, remove from the heat and begin the layering process. In a medium dish, spoon a layer of the braised eggplant, then sprinkle a layer of pita chips on top. Spoon the spiced chickpeas on top of the pita chips, then cover with a layer of garlic labneh. Cover the labneh with the braised patty pan squash, then sprinkle over the toasted pine nuts and cranberries. Top with pomegranate seeds. Repeat until the dish is full.

7. Dig in with a spoon and eat this with more crunchy pita chips or soft pita!


This recipe was created by Local Roots contributor Irena Huang / @irena__huang

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