Roasted Eggplant And Pomegranate Seed Salad

Submitted by Judy on Sat, 09/22/2007 - 8:48am.

from "The Essential Book of Jewish Festival Cooking" by Phyllis Glazer and Miriyam Glazer

Serves 6

If your stovetop is electric, the next-best thing is to broil the eggplants on an oven rack close to the broiler element until blacked, turning occasionally. Place a parchment-lined pan under them to keep the oven clean. Serve with challah, hot pita, toast, or crackers.

4 pounds eggplant (about 3 large)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste
Seeds of one pomegranate
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves (optional)
3 to 4 tablespoons chopped green onions and/or sliced radishes

Wash and dry eggplants. Cut a hole in middle of three large squares of aluminum foil to form “collars” for three stovetop gas burners. (This will help alleviate cleanup.) If you have them, place a rack over each burner to hold the eggplant. (Cooling racks may also be used).

Put an eggplant on each one of the burners and roast over medium heat, turning occasionally, until blackened on all sides. Use two large kitchen spoons to transfer one eggplant at a time to a cutting board. Let cool until easy to handle.

Slice each eggplant in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scrape out insides. Discard skin. Hand-chop eggplant flesh with a chopping knife until there are no coarse lumps or strips, then transfer to a bowl. (Don’t be tempted to use a blender or food processor for this recipe – they destroy the texture.)

Using a fork, mix in the lemon juice and pomegranate seeds, then gently whisk in the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour onto a large plate and garnish with chopped mint in the middle and chopped green onions or radish slices over the rest.