Fresh summer eggplant are roasted to tender perfection and stuffed inside soft corn tacos with cumin spiced chickpeas topped with cooling herb yoghurt sauce. It’s starting to look a lot like summer. The afternoons are stretching out into the evening, gardenias scent the sunny air, hot weather produce is blooming in people’s gardens, and I feel like stuffing everything into soft tacos and then into my face…Okay, that last one might not be everyone’s indication that summer is getting closer, but in this house our taco consumption definitely ramps up during the summer months when the produce is super fresh. These eggplants actually came from the garden of friend of my Dad. They were delivered with care one morning when Dad was on his way to work. When I came down stairs to take Penny for her walk there they were just chilling on my barbecue bench. When I was daydreaming about the all the possibilities for these purple gems I turned to the master of the aubergine, Mr Yotam Ottolenghi, for inspiration. I loved his recipe for Eggplants with Crushed Chickpeas from Plenty More and I used it as my inspiration when creating this recipe. The stars of these tacos are the simply roasted eggplant and the saucy spiced chickpeas. The eggplant is cubed and then roasted into soft, darkened cubes with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt to bring out eggplant’s naturally smoky flavour. While the eggplant is roasting the chickpeas are sauteed with onion, garlic, cumin, coriander seeds, and black pepper. I added a splash of the tinned chickpea liquid, which thickened into a lovely little spicy sauce around the chickpeas. The final secret of these chickpeas is a hearty squeeze of lemon juice, which brightens them up and makes the spices pop!
And then there’s the sauce. It’s a super easy blend of thick Greek yoghurt, mint, basil and parsley with a whole lot of cracked black pepper. I loved this sauce so much that I made another batch of it to top baked sweet potatoes over the weekend, and toss on top of my salad on Monday morning. This blend of herbs is fresh and light and the perfect topper for the spicy chickpeas and smoky eggplant. These eggplant tacos are already set to become a family favourite around our house, and I just know you will all love them too. They are a fresh, light meal that can easily be thrown together after work for dinner, or for a summer lunch on the deck. Now the warm weather is here I just want to eat all of our meals outside! It’s taco time!
Roasted Eggplant and Spiced Chickpea Tacos with Herbed Yoghurt
Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Serves 2-3
- 2 medium eggplants
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small purple onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 can chickpeas (reserve 1/4 cup liquid)
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 6 small corn soft tacos (ensure they are gluten free if required)
For the sauce
- 1/2 cup Greek yoghurt
- 1/2 cup basil leaves
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup mint
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat your oven to 180C (350 F).
- Dice eggplant into large cubes. Place on a large, rimmed baking tray. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil and toss to coat thoroughly. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cubes are soft and withered.
- While the eggplants are cooking peel and dice the onion and crush the garlic. Saute these in the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil in a small frying pan set over medium heat. Add the cumin, coriander, black pepper and salt and saute until the onion is translucent. Add the chickpeas and reserved liquid and cook until the chickpeas are warmed through and the liquid has started to thicken and evaporate. Add the lemon juice and stir.
- While the chickpeas are cooking making the sauce by placing all the ingredients into a small food processor and whizzing until mostly smooth. You want the sauce to be able to drizzle so you can add a splash of water if required.
- Heat the tacos as per the packaging.
- To serve: top each taco with a serving of eggplant and chickpeas and drizzle with sauce. Serve with extra herbs and lemon if desired.