Food & Drink

This Zesty Eggplant Side Dish Will Add Flavor to Your Passover Seder

This Zesty Eggplant Side Dish Will Add Flavor to Your Passover Seder
Gibbs Smith

What better to accompany this delicious Passover appetizer than a story? After breaking bread with the nomadic Bedouins in the Sinai desert, chef Oren Toput Tagel, owner of the exotic desert eco-lodge and restaurant Eretz Arava in Zuquim, Israel, whipped up this flavorful eggplant dish, featured in photographer Steven Rothfeld’s new cookbook Israel Eats ($32;, and added lemon, anise, and mint for a zesty touch. Not only is it kosher for the High Holiday—it’s delicious enough to make year round as a heart-healthy alternative to the requisite side of mashed potatoes. Read on for the  recipe.

Roasted Eggplant with Lemon, Anise, and Mint

Serves 4


1 large eggplant
4 garlic cloves, crushed to paste
1 lemon, halved
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
20 to 30 anise seeds
4 to 6 mint leaves, chopped

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1. Prepare the grill or preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Roast the eggplant on all four sides over grill until softened, about 30 minutes. Alternatively, set eggplant on a baking sheet and roast in oven until soft but not mushy, about 40 minutes, turning halfway through to roast evenly.

2. Set a colander in sink. Cut off 1 1/2 inches (approximately 4 cm) from top of eggplant. Place eggplant cut-side down in colander. Let drain 10 minutes.

3. Cut eggplant in half vertically. Season each half with the remaining ingredients in this order: 2 garlic cloves, salt to taste, juice from 1/2 lemon, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 10 to 15 anise seeds, 2 to 3 mint leaves. Serve immediately.

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