Experience a delightful contrast of flavors and textures with this recipe inspired by the Iraqi-Israeli hand food, sabich.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
- 1/3 cup white vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon white sugar
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 small ripe tomato, cored and chopped
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 pounds eggplant, cut into twelve ½-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, halved
- Preparation of Quick-Pickled Veggies: In a small mixing bowl, combine the white vinegar, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Stir until the sugar and salt dissolve. Incorporate the chopped tomato and sliced red onion into this mixture and set aside to allow the vegetables to pickle briefly.
- Broiling the Eggplant: Preheat the broiler and position a rack about 6 inches from the heating element. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet by lining it with foil and lightly misting it with cooking spray. Brush both sides of the eggplant rounds generously with the olive oil. Sprinkle the za’atar, salt, and pepper over the eggplant slices. Arrange these slices on the prepared baking sheet. Broil the eggplant rounds until they’re well-charred and tender when pierced with a skewer. This should take approximately 12 minutes; remember to flip the slices halfway through to ensure even charring.
- Preparing the Spicy Tahini Sauce: While the eggplant is broiling, prepare the sauce. In a separate bowl, whisk together tahini, lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in the harissa paste and 3 tablespoons of water until the sauce is well-mixed and smooth.
- Assembling the Sandwich: Once the eggplant is done broiling, remove from the oven and let it cool briefly on a wire rack. To assemble your sandwiches, open each pita half and generously spread 2 to 3 tablespoons of the spicy tahini sauce inside. Insert 3 slices of the broiled eggplant into the pita pocket. Finally, add a portion of the pickled onion-tomato mixture into the sandwich.
Serve immediately while the eggplant is still warm. Consider adding optional ingredients like sliced hard-cooked eggs, hummus, parsley leaves, or cucumber pickles to enhance the flavor and make the sandwiches more reminiscent of traditional sabich.
Enjoy a symphony of flavors and textures in every bite!