Eggplant is one of those vegetables that you either love it or hate it. I'm of the former camp. There's something so comforting about eggplant cooked down to a silky, melt-in-your-mouth texture. And because eggplant doesn't have much flavour itself, it's the perfect sponge to soak up any spices you decide to add it.
I picked up a beautiful eggplant from the Vicki's Veggies stall at the Evergreen Brick Works Farmers' Market last week and was wondering what I should do with it. Simply roast or grill it? Make eggplant parmigiana? And then I came across this recipe from the New York Times that settled it for me: Sweet and Sour Eggplant, Tomatoes and Chickpeas. Enough said.
The sweet and sour in this dish comes from the use of pomegranate molasses, which I've never used before. It's essentially pomegranate juice that's been boiled down until you get a thick syrup, and unlike your typical molasses, this is tart stuff. I added a tablespoon of honey to the recipe to help balance out the tartness of the pomegranate molasses.
The flavours work so well together, with the acidity of the molasses and the tomatoes working together to create a rich, flavourful sauce for the eggplant and chickpeas. I loved the pomegranate molasses—the taste of the fruit lingers on your tongue long after you've finished your last bite. I definitely can't wait to use the pomegranate molasses in other dishes as well.
This is beautiful served over some fluffy couscous, and makes great leftovers for lunch the next day!
Get the recipe here.