Dishing Up the Dirt

Grilled Eggplant with Beet Relish & Tahini Sauce

I have never served eggplant and beets together in the same dish and I’m not exactly sure why because this was really lovely! Grilled eggplant is one of my favorite ways to prepare this summer vegetable. They get incredibly tender in the middle while being crispy and lightly charred on the edges. This is honestly my favorite time of the year to fire up the bbq because it’s not so damn hot outside that the combination of the blazing sun and heat from the grill deter me away from standing there flipping veggies or waiting for my burger to be perfectly cooked.  We’ve been really lucky with breezy evenings as of late and I’m soaking up all of this summer produce and comfortable weather as best as I can.

This vegetable side dish is a new favorite. I loved the combination of the beets with the eggplant and tahini sauce. We served this alongside lamb meatballs (which we dipped in leftover tahini sauce) and a side of rice. This is one of those random salads that I wasn’t planning on sharing as a recipe for the blog but it turned out so well that I got out my camera to snap a photo. Besides, our CSA members are getting all the ingredients for this little salad in their veggie boxes this week and I hope they give this recipe a whirl. It’s easy and delicious.

Happy late summer grilling everyone!

Grilled Eggplant with Beet Relish & Tahini Sauce

Prep Time: 15 minutes    Cook Time: 15 minutes    Serves: 4

Beet Relish 
  • 2 medium sized beets, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped, white and pale green parts only
  • ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped dill
  • salt and pepper
Tahini Sauce
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons tahini
  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons water + additional to thin if necessary
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1  1/2 pounds eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch thick rounds  (about 2 medium sized eggplants)
  • 3 tablespoons high heat cooking oil or melted ghee
  • salt
  • 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped


  1. Prepare the beet relish by covering the quartered beets in a saucepan with enough water to cover them by 3 inches. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until tender. About 20 minutes. Drain the beets and when cool enough to handle roughly chop them into small pieces. Add the beets to a bowl and toss with the vinegar, oil, garlic, scallions, parsley, dill, salt and pepper.
  2. Prepare the dressing by combining all the ingredients and whisking until smooth. This works best with an immersion blender or small food processor for the creamiest consistency. Taste test and adjust as needed.
  3. Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high. Toss the eggplant slices with the oil and sprinkle with salt. Grill until lightly charred and tender. About 5-6 minutes per side. Remove from the heat.
  4. Add the eggplant slices to a platter or bowl and top with the beet relish, drizzle with tahini sauce and sprinkle with toasted hazelnuts. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.


*The beet relish can be prepared in advanced and served chilled, at room temperature or warm. *Use this recipe as a guide and adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary.

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