Middle Eastern cuisine is full of bold and fresh flavors and the right mix of ingredients can create amazing meals.
Eden Grinshpan compiled over 100 recipes for her debut cookbook, "Eating Out Loud: Bold Middle Eastern Flavors for All Day, Every Day." The recipes are healthy, fun and playful and the stories included reflect her Israeli heritage and laid-back but thoughtful approach to food.
The chef, restaurateur and cookbook author joined "GMA" to share a couple of recipes from her soon-to-be published work.
Grinshpan, who is also the host of "Top Chef: Canada," has utilized flavors and techniques from her culinary tutelage at Le Cordon Bleu in London. She has continued to chase big flavors around the world, cooking in restaurants and eating her way across Europe, India, Southeast Asia and Israel.
Check out her full recipes below and add them to your weekly lineup for bold, fresh flavors any time.
Baba Ghanoush with Za’atar, Pomegranate, and Mint
Yield: about 4 cups
3 medium eggplants
½ cup tahini paste
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, grated
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
Za’atar, for serving
Extra-virgin olive oil, for serving
Pomegranate molasses, for serving
Fresh mint leaves, for serving
Pomegranate seeds, for serving (if in season)
With the tip of a knife, pierce each eggplant in two places—doesn’t need to be perfect or in the same place every time; this is just so the eggplant doesn’t explode on you (it’s happened to me, and it’s not pretty).
Pick a cooking method for the eggplant: grill, broiler, or stovetop burners. The bottom line is that you want this eggplant to be almost unrecognizable. It’s going to deflate and the skin will get white in some places, but that just means the fire is working its magic on that eggplant.
Option 1: Grill Preheat the grill until hot. Add the eggplants and let the fire do its thing, making sure to keep turning the eggplants so they char all over. You want them to get black in some places, 20 to 30 minutes total.
Option 2: Broil Preheat the broiler. Put the eggplants in a broilerproof roasting pan and place the pan as close to the heating element as possible. (You may have to adjust your oven rack to accommodate the size of the eggplants and the depth of the pan.) Broil until they are evenly charred all over, 30 to 35 minutes, checking and turning the eggplants periodically. You want the eggplants to keep their shape but get really charred and wilted.
Option 3: Stovetop Gas Burners Line your stovetop around your burners with foil. Working with one at a time, place the eggplant over a medium flame and let it char, making sure to turn it every 5 minutes. Continue cooking until it is deflated and black all over, 20 to 30 minutes.
Transfer the cooked eggplants to a colander in the sink and let the juices run. (The juices can make the dish taste bitter.) Once the eggplants are cool enough to handle, remove the stem and all of the skin.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggplant flesh with the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and salt.
To serve, first make a za’atar oil by mixing together 1 tablespoon of za’atar with 1½ tablespoons of olive oil for every 2 cups of baba ghanoush.
For each serving, use a spoon to spread about 1 cup of the baba ghanoush over a platter or in the bottom of a bowl. Drizzle over 1 to 2 teaspoons of the pomegranate molasses (go easy—it’s very tart and sweet), followed by the za’atar–olive oil mixture. Finish with a sprinkling of small mint leaves (or large leaves, torn) and a small handful of pomegranate seeds (if using).
Summer Pita Fattoush with Peaches, Tomatoes, and Basil
2 pitas, homemade, or store-bought, torn into bite-size pieces
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
1½ teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups roughly chopped tomatoes (I like to get all different types and colors)
1 peach, thinly sliced
Handful of fresh basil leaves, torn
Handful of fresh mint leaves, torn
Handful of fresh parsley leaves, torn
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
Toast the pita: Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a medium bowl, combine the torn pita pieces with the olive oil and a large pinch of salt. Toss to coat. Spread the pita on a sheet pan and toast in the oven until crisp and golden, about 8 minutes (start checking after 5). Set aside to cool.
Make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, honey, and vinegar. Continue whisking as you slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Assemble the salad: In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, peach, basil, mint, parsley, onion, and the toasted pita. Toss with the dressing and finish with a sprinkle of sumac.
Reprinted from Eating Out Loud. Copyright © 2020 by Eden Grinshpan with Rachel Holtzman.