These hearty sandwiches, which taste good hot or cold, are great options for busy weeknights when dining times are different for everyone in the family. You can also take leftovers as lunch the next day. Serve with a baby-spinach salad.
1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss eggplant with 2 Tbs. oil on large baking sheet, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Roast 20 minutes, or until golden brown and tender, turning once or twice. Cool.
2 Stir together remaining 2 Tbs. oil, cilantro, onion, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, and coriander in medium bowl. Fold in dates, if using. Add chickpeas and eggplant, and toss to combine, then season with salt and pepper, if desired. Let filling stand 2 hours at room temperature.
3 Fold goat cheese into filling, if using.
4 Spoon generous ½ cup filling into each pita half.
Make-ahead instructions: Prepare pita filling through step 2, then refrigerate three to five days. Assemble pitas with optional goat cheese just before serving.