Eggplant and Fennel Salad

serves 6

2       pound eggplant or 4 small eggplants

4       scallions, chopped

1/2       fresh fennel, diced

1       ripe medium tomato, diced

1       jalapeno, seeded and diced

1       cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/4   cup dried cranberries

2      tablespoons pomegranate molasses

zest of one lemon

4      tablespoons lemon juice

4      tablespoons olive oil

salt to taste

2     tablespoons toasted pine nuts, optional

-Wash, do not peel, and cut the eggplant into 1-inch cubes.  Place in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and toss well.  Place the cubes on cookie sheet and broil until golden brown.  Remove from the oven and allow them to cool.

-Place the eggplant cubes in salad bowl.  Add the chopped vegetables, the cilantro and the cranberries to the eggplant.

-Whisk the pomegranate molasses with lemon zest, the lemon juice, the olive oil and the salt.  Drizzle this dressing over the vegetables, toss gently until well mixed.   Spoon into shallow serving platter, sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and serve. Serve this salad with toasted pita chips for great appetizer.

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