Spread a spicy tahini mixture on thinly sliced eggplant, bake briefly, and wrap around cantaloupe bites. Ta-da! You’ve made an easy yet elegant summer appetizer that packs a flavor punch. Pop a Spicy Melon Bite in your mouth and notice the sensations:
Smooth, slightly sweet eggplant
Creamy umami burst from the spicy tahini spread
Refreshing cantaloupe at the center
It’s summertime on a toothpick!
My plant-based update to the classic prosciutto-wrapped melon is healthier and cheaper than the original.
|Prep Time||20 minutes|
|Cook Time||20 minutes|
servings or 54 pieces
- 1 pound eggplant preferably 2 small globe eggplants
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1/2 medium lemon or 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce or tamari, gluten-free if desired
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1/2 small cantaloupe
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F and line two cookies sheets with parchment paper or baking mats. Cut off eggplant stems and slice very thin, about 1/8th inch thick. Cut slices two or three times to make long strips. Arrange strips on cookies sheets. If you think the eggplant may be bitter, salt it (see notes).
- Add remaining ingredient to a small bowl and stir to blend. Spread spice mix on eggplant slices using a brush or your clean fingers. Bake for 20 minutes, until tender but not crispy.
- Cut cantaloupe in half, scoop out seeds, and cut half of it into wedges. Peel wedges and cut into bite-sized pieces. Because of the melon's shape, the pieces will be narrower at the top than at the bottom. The slant helps the eggplant stay on board, just like hips hold up skirts.
- When eggplant strips are tender, peel up from parchment paper. Wrap each strip spice-side in around a piece of cantaloupe. Keep the purple eggplant skin up on the strips that have them for extra color and a belt-like finish. Skewer with a toothpick to keep cantaloupe dressed. Serve at once or refrigerate for a few hours and then serve. You can also make the strips the day before and refrigerate until needed.
- If you think the eggplant may be bitter, salt it, let it rest, and then rinse before spreading with sauce.
- I've tried wrapping these spice-side out, but the spice mixture falls off. You also miss the initial smooth sweetness of the eggplant.
- Use any extra strips in sandwiches or wraps.
- I made the tray shown in the top picture! Whoo-hoo pottery class!
Intriguing recipe! I’ll try this the next time I have all the ingredients.
P.S. Congrats on making that cool tray.
Linda Watson says
Double thanks, Chessie! Hope you like the recipe when you try it.