Muttabel with Za'atar-Spiced Pita Bread

Total Time:
1 hr 10 min
Prep:
20 min
Cook:
50 min

Yield:
4 to 6 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 2 Italian eggplants (1 1/2 to 2 pounds total), halved and scored
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/2 cup
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons tahini paste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1/4 cup small dice red bell pepper
  • Pita Crisps:
  • 8 large pita rounds, cut into strips or small wedges
  • 2 tablespoons za'atar dry spice
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
Directions
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  • Split the eggplants in half through the stem and score the flesh sides. Drizzle with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast eggplants, flesh side down on a sheet pan, until the skin begins to wrinkle and flesh is very tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Set aside to cool.

  • When the eggplants are cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and transfer to the bowl of a food processor along with the garlic, parsley, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, and cayenne and puree until smooth. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil and pulse again to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the red bell pepper. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil if desired. Serve with pita strips for dipping.

  • While the eggplants are cooking, make pita strips: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Put the pita wedges in a large mixing bowl. Combine za'atar spice mix and extra-virgin olive oil in a small bowl and drizzle over wedges. Season with salt and toss to coat evenly. Arrange pita wedges on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until warmed through.


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