This layered dish features super-tender roasted eggplant and sweet sautéed onions spiked with tart and fruity pomegranate molasses. Serve with pita as part of a mezze course or as a side with a larger meal. Source: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2018

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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Peel eggplant to leave alternating purple stripes. Halve lengthwise and slice into 3/4-inch pieces. Sprinkle both sides with allspice.

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  • Line a baking sheet with three layers of paper towels. Heat oil in a medium cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add one-third of the eggplant in a single layer and cook, turning once, until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining eggplant in 2 more batches. Sprinkle the eggplant with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Let the oil cool; save for another use or discard. Wipe out the skillet.

  • Combine onions, pomegranate molasses, water, tomato paste, 3/4 teaspoon ginger, sugar and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and the juices are thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Add more water, 2 tablespoons at a time, if necessary to prevent burning toward the end.

  • Spread half the onions in the skillet. Top with half the eggplant, pressing to evenly pack it down. Repeat with the remaining onions and eggplant. Place a plate directly on top to weight the layers down. Bring to a simmer over high heat then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until the liquid thickens and begins to reduce, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully remove the plate. Let cool completely, about 2 hours.

  • Meanwhile, combine cherries (or cranberries), cherry juice, vinegar and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon ginger in the saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook for 1 minute. Pour into a bowl.

  • Carefully invert the skillet onto a serving dish. Serve the eggplant topped with the fruit mixture, mint and cilantro.

Tips

To make ahead: Refrigerate pickled cherries (Step 5) for up to 2 days.

Tips: Pomegranate Molasses: Made from reduced tart pomegranate juice, this dark red syrup adds sweetness and acidity. Use it up: Glaze roast meat; stir into tea; drizzle over roasted vegetables; make muhammara.

Dried Sour Cherries: Also known as dried tart cherries, they have a lip-puckering flavor. Use it up: Stir into granola or oatmeal.

Nutrition Facts

202 calories; 16.1 g total fat; 1.6 g saturated fat; 113 mg sodium. 327 mg potassium; 14.5 g carbohydrates; 3.7 g fiber; 9 g sugar; 1.6 g protein; 171 IU vitamin a iu; 7 mg vitamin c; 32 mcg folate; 25 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 20 mg magnesium;

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