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Eggplant-stuffed pita sandwiches show the power of a quick pickle
Sep 11

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Christopher Kimball's Milk Street

One pillar of Milk Street's approach to cooking is contrast __ we pair tangy flavors with sweet, and creamy textures with crispy ones. And that's why we often use quick pickles in our cooking; they cover many of those bases at once.

In this recipe from our book "Tuesday Nights Mediterranean," which features weeknight-friendly meals from the region, we tuck quick-pickled sliced onion and tomato into vegetarian pita sandwiches inspired by an Iraqi-Israeli hand food called sabich.

Traditionally, fried eggplant is stuffed into a pita bread along with tomato- cucumber salad, hard-cooked egg, hummus and amba, a pickled mango condiment. For our much-simplified version, we broil slices of za'atar-seasoned eggplant, and briefly soak sliced red onion and tomato in vinegar and salt with a little sugar to substitute the sweet and sour amba.

The briny vegetables balance the savory meatiness of roasted eggplant, and their crispiness adds textural interest to what otherwise would be a soft filling. A harissa-spiked tahini sauce adds spice and richness.

Other items you may want to tuck into the sandwiches to make them more sabich- like: sliced hard-cooked eggs, hummus, parsley leaves and cucumber pickles.

And don't worry about the amount of oil brushed onto the eggplant. Three tablespoons may seem excessive, but the oil adds both flavor and richness while helping with browning.


Servings: 4

? cup white vinegar

3/4 teaspoon white sugar

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

1 small ripe tomato, cored and chopped

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

11/2 pounds eggplant, cut into twelve 1/2-inch-thick rounds

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 teaspoons za'atar

1/4 cup tahini

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 to 3 tablespoons harissa paste

Two 8-inch pita rounds, each cut into half-rounds

Heat the broiler with a rack about 6 inches from the element.

By The Associated Press, Copyright 2023

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