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Eggplant Spread and Ekmek (Turkish Flatbread)

Eggplant Spread and Ekmek (Turkish Flatbread)

Renée Robinson

Creamy Eggplant Scooped Up with Flatbreads for the Win!

I make a really good eggplant spread. Over many years I’ve tweaked it in order to arrive at its current rendition.  While I also like baba ghanoush, this one does not contain tahini. That’s a whole different animal. 

I start by broiling a couple of eggplants until they’re good and charred and have collapsed. I test them to be sure they’re done by cutting away a little of the skin near the neck. If the flesh is nice and tender, then I know I’m good to go.


After they’ve cooled, I scoop out the flesh, put it into a colander and let it drain while I assemble the rest of my ingredients. I like it with some texture and keep it that way by chopping the eggplant rather than blitzing it in the food processor. Besides olive oil, I like to add some whole milk Greek yogurt for both creaminess and flavor. Lime juice, nigella seeds, black cardamom, oregano, Aleppo pepper, and sumac are the seasonings I use. None of them scream for attention, but they combine with the eggplant to make a beautifully nuanced dish. 

I think it’s essential to have some fresh flatbread for scooping up the eggplant. While scrolling around and trying to decide which recipe I’d make, I happened upon this one from King Arthur. It’s called Ekmek, the Turkish word for bread, and it was new to me. Seeing as King Arthur says it’s perfect for eating with baba ghanoush, for which they include a recipe, I felt it would be perfect for my eggplant. 

I used my dough mixing machine for kneading the dough, set it aside to rise, and got to work on my eggplant spread. After it rose, it was divided in two, rolled out into two 9 inch rounds and left to rise again for 30 minutes. At that point, an egg wash is brushed on top, plenty of sesame seeds are added (I used both black and white sesame seeds), the top is scored and it’s put in the oven to bake. 

Prepared and Seeded Dough

The ekmek turned out exactly as promised. It has a light and chewy crumb with a slight sweetness of flavor from some honey which is added to the dough, is crisp on the top and bottom, and has plenty of nuttiness and crunch from the sesame seeds. Both the flavor and texture perfectly complimented the eggplant. 

There was plenty of oohing and aahing as we tore off pieces of the warm bread and dunked it in the eggplant. I froze one loaf and heated it up the next day to eat with the leftovers and it was as good as when it first came out of the oven. The bread and eggplant went perfectly with the roast chicken I served. Oh, man, this kind of meal is really hard to beat. 

Eggplant Spread and Ekmek (Turkish Flatbread)

Recipe by Renée Robinson



Eggplant, Olive Oil, Yogurt, and Spices Combined in a Spread and Served with Ekmek (Turkish Flatbread)

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  • 2 large eggplants, 3 pounds total, pierced in several places with the tip of a paring knife

  • 1/2 cup whole milk Greek yogurt

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • 2 teaspoons nigella seeds

  • 1 teaspoon black cardamom seeds, finely ground

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper, plus more for finishing

  • 1/2 teaspoon sumac

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt

  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley for garnish



  • Put the eggplants on a foil lined baking sheet and place on a rack that’s about 10 to 12 inches from the heating coil. Broil on high for 10 minutes. Flip and broil for another 10 minutes. Continue to flip and broil until the eggplants are charred and have completely collapsed. It will depend on your broiler. It took a total of 25 minutes for mine. Check to see they are done by slicing into the skin of the eggplant near the neck. Set aside and let cool.
  • Remove the skins and place in a colander to drain for 15 minutes. Roughly chop the eggplant and place in a medium sized bowl.
  • Stir in the rest of the ingredients, except the parsley. Refrigerate for a couple of hours at least, giving the flavors time to blend. Remove from the refrigerator an hour before serving. Taste for seasoning. Top with additional olive oil and Aleppo pepper. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley. Enjoy!
  • Make the King Arthur Ekmek recipe. I did not make the recipe they included for baba ghanoush, instead I made my own eggplant spread as shown above.

6 Responses

    1. Karen, please forgive me for only just now seeing this question!!! I’ve been in the middle of moving out of state and have been very preoccupied. I’m so sorry! Yes, this keeps well in the fridge for several days.

      1. Thank you, Renee. It was a total hit. Will make regularly, and helps to know I can make ahead. Best of luck in your new home!

        1. I’m so glad to hear you made this. It’s been on my mind lately and I’m getting ready to make it shortly. It’s so good, isn’t it? Thanks so much for letting me know you enjoyed it!

    1. Thanks so much, Marilyn! I hope you like it. Please let me know what you think if you give it a try. It’s so wonderful to hear from you, my friend!

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