Roasted Aubergines with Pomegranate

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New way of roasting: Pomegranate juice. It gives such delicate sweetness, but it’s tangy at the same time. It turned my aubergines into something out of this world delicious. I meant to serve this dish as a salad but it’s a gorgeous, vegan, main course really, as the aubergines are so filling, meaty and rich. The tomato sauce mellows and becomes thick and dense and sweet and everything it should be.

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I served this on a bed of greens with a touch of delicious tahini dressing. But even without the dressing, it’s absolutely amazing.

aubergines pomegranate.jpg

Ingredients

  • 6-7 medium aubergines (eggplants), cut in 8 pieces each (see note)
  • 2 medium red or yellow onions
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 X 400 gr can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ¼ cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 Tbs pomegranate molasses or balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the tahini dressing (optional)

  • 2 Tbs tahini
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice
  • Zest of ½ a lemon
  • 1 ½ Tbs chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To assemble the salad

  • 4 cups leafy salad greens
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2 Tbs pine nuts

Method

Preheat oven to 175 C.

Put the aubergines and onions in a baking tray and drizzle with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer tray in the oven and roast for 30 minutes.

In a medium bowl mix together the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, pomegranate juice, pomegranate molasses, sugar, paprika and cumin. Season with salt and pepper.

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Take the tray out of the oven and drizzle the aubergines with the tomato mixture. Return dish to the oven and roast 30 minutes more.

In the meantime, make the tahini dressing. Mix the dressing ingredients together in a bowl. You can also put everything in a small jar and shake until the dressing is smooth. Since tahini paste is sometimes thick, add a splash of water if dressing is too thick. Set aside until needed.

Take the aubergines out of the oven and leave to cool to room temperature.

To serve, place the salad greens on a large platter. Top with the aubergines and everything else in the baking pan. Sprinkle with the parsley, pomegranate seeds and pine nuts. Drizzle with the tahini dressing and serve.

Note 1: To cut the aubergines, first cut into quarters lengthwise, then cut the 4 pieces in half horizontally.

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