yield: Makes 6 side-dish servings
If you’re using whole-milk plain yogurt instead of lebneh, you’ll have to allow extra time (at least 8 hours) for draining.
Active time: 20 min
Start to finish: 50 min
Ingredients of Grilled Eggplant with Lebneh:
- 1/2 cup lebneh* (thick Middle Eastern–style yogurt) or 1 cup whole-milk plain yogurt
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 to 4 tablespoons water
- 2 lb eggplant (2 medium), cut crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick slices
- 1/2 cup olive oil
Garnish: fresh mint leaves
Directions for Grilled Eggplant with Lebneh:
- If using whole-milk plain yogurt, drain in a paper-towel-lined sieve set over a bowl, covered and chilled, 8 to 12 hours.
- Mince garlic and mash to a paste with a pinch of salt, then transfer to a bowl. Whisk in lebneh or drained yogurt, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and enough water to make mixture resemble well-stirred sour cream.
- Prepare grill for cooking. If using a charcoal grill, open vents on bottom of grill, then light charcoal. Charcoal fire is medium-hot when you can hold your hand 5 inches above rack for 3 to 4 seconds. If using a gas grill, preheat burners on moderately high, covered, 10 minutes, then reduce heat to moderate.
- Brush eggplant slices generously with oil on both sides and sprinkle with remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Grill slices on lightly oiled grill rack, covered only if using a gas grill, turning over occasionally, until eggplant is tender, 12 to 15 minutes total. Transfer as cooked to a platter, arranging slices in 1 layer. Put a spoonful of yogurt mixture on each eggplant slice and top with a mint leaf.
If you aren’t able to grill outdoors, eggplant can be cooked in a hot well-seasoned ridged grill pan over moderate heat, turning over occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes total, or broiled in a shallow baking pan (4 to 6 inches from heat), turning over occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes total. * Available at Middle Eastern markets.