Eggplant has very little nutritional value, but it does have a lot of fiber, an element that cannot be discounted. It is good for weight conscious people. One cup has only 25 calories, and it is filling. The trick is how to cook it.
Eggplant is also versatile as it can be used in appetizers, main dishes, soups, salads, and desserts. If you have not tried candied baby eggplant, you especially do not know what you are missing.
Before you begin cooking eggplant, slice it in the shape you want for the dish you are preparing. Then, sprinkle the slices with salt and let them sit for thirty minutes. That establishes two things; it takes out a lot of bitterness, and when you cook it, the salted eggplant absorbs much more oil than if you did not salt it. After salting, gently squeeze out the excess water, place the slices on a cookie sheet, and lightly brush them with olive oil. Broil the eggplant until they are dark brown. Always broil, don’t fry. Once they are done allow them to cool then use them in whatever you dish you planned for the meal, like this one!
This recipe calls for pomegranate seeds and I used them whenever I find fresh pomegranate. The health benefits of pomegranate are amazing. When you can not find pomegranate seeds replace them with dried cranberries that is soaked in pomegranate juice for 20 minutes.
- 2 medium sized eggplants
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
- 4 scallions
- ½ cup pomegranate seeds
- ½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- ¼ cup pomegranate molasses
- 1 clove garlic, mashed
- ¼ cup vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- salt to taste
- Cut the eggplants into 1-inch thick slices. Place the slices in a colander, sprinkle with salt and allow them to sit for 30 minutes. Gently pat the slices to squeeze some of the water. Place the slices on a cookie sheet, brush with olive oil and then broil until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Dice the broiled eggplant slices and place in a bowl. Add the rest of the vegetables, the cilantro, the walnuts and the pomegranate seeds.
- Whisk the molasses with the vinegar, the olive oil, the garlic, the pepper flakes and the salt. Drizzle over the salad and toss gently. Allow the salad to rest at least couple hours before serving.