Eggplant in some form or another can be found on every restaurant menu in Israel. Halved roasted eggplant is the ambassador of these appetizers. Gorgeous, simple, and healthy, with its smoky aroma and smooth cooked center, it is the perfect starter. Roasting the eggplants on the open flame adds so much flavor but can be a bit messy; make sure to cover the grates with foil to catch the charred skin — or follow this recipe for an oven-baked version.
Prepare the silan techina: In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal “S” blade, purée the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, ½ cup warm water, and silan. You may need a bit more warm water to thin to desired consistency. Set aside.
Prepare the roasted eggplant: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise, cutting straight through the green stalk. Using a small sharp knife, make 3-4 “X” marks to score the eggplant flesh without cutting through to the skin.
Place the eggplant halves, cut-side up, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush them heavily with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 35-40 minutes; the flesh should be soft, flavorful, and nicely browned. Remove from the oven; allow to cool.
Transfer the roasted eggplant to a platter or plates for serving. Drizzle on the silan techina; garnish with pomegranate seeds, radish slices, and scallions.
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