This comforting dish is inspired by the ethos of my favorite hometown Mediterranean restaurant, combining Local Roots eggplant with aromatic Levantine spices for a dish similar to falafel. The herbaceous and smokey interior is coated in a crispy Za’atar exterior. While the ratios vary regionally, the flavor
impact is consistently sour, savory, and nutty. You can easily make it with ingredients from your pantry for a fun and easy organic weekend dinner.
1 medium eggplant (about 500g in weight)*
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon of cumin
2 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of Soom tahini via Local Roots
1 tablespoon of lemon juice (½ lemon)
1 tsp of lemon zest
½ tablespoon harissa paste
½ cup chickpeas
¼ cup of chopped parsley
½ teaspoon of smoked paprika
3 tablespoons of za'atar
¼ cup Local Roots feta cheese or vegan feta
¼ cup of olive oil
4 toasted Local Roots burger buns
*Uncooked and chopped eggplant amounts to 5 cups. If you have more or less, adjust the oil andseasoning so that the eggplant is well coated.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a sheet pan with a Silpat sheet or aluminum foil.
2. Dice eggplant into ½ inch cubes and place on a sheet pan. Toss to coat with olive oil,
cumin, and a few pinches of salt and pepper.
3. Cook for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
4. In a food processor, blend garlic, tahini, harissa paste, lemon juice and zest until smooth.
5. Add eggplant, chickpeas, parsley, smoked paprika, and 1 tablespoon of za’atar and blend. To ensure all ingredients are mixed, pause occasionally to push down ingredients.
6. Once you have a thick paste consistency, add salt and pepper to taste.
7. Fold in feta cheese then make four patty discs by forming with a ⅓ cup.
8. In a castiron pan or skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
9. Put remaining 2 tablespoons of za’atar in a shallow bowl. To bread patties, gently press each patty into za’atar. Pat off excess coating and place into pan.
10. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.Some za’atar will come off while cooking, don’t worry this combines with the oil to make a crispy burger topping.
11. Once burgers are golden and crispy, remove from heat and place onto a paper towel lined plate. Save remaining oil and za’tar seasoning.
Spoon a layer of tzatziki sauce onto two toasted buns and top with eggplant patty. Add pickled onions, feta cheese, and sliced cucumbers. Finish with a drizzle of leftover za’tar oil for a crunchy flavor boost and enjoy!
● pickled red onions
● bread and butter pickles
● tzatziki sauce
● sliced cucumbers
● feta cheese
This recipe was created by Local Roots recipe developer Molly Alexander @veganish.molly
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