Pomegranate, Feta and Eggplant
for the spices
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon dried pomegranate seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
for the dip
- extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium-sized eggplants, peeled and cut into a small dice
- 2-3 shallots, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
- spice mixture (see above)
- 1 cup crumbled Feta
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped mint
- 1/4 cup fresh pomegranate seeds/arils
- 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- First, dry roast the spices in a dry pan on medium heat until you start to smell their aromas, 5-7 minutes.
- Cool them for a minute and then transfer to a spice mill or coffee grinder and pulse until they all combine into a uniform mixture. Set aside.
- Heat a medium-sized saute pan with a nice coating of olive oil on medium heat.
- When the oil comes to temperature, add the shallots and allow them to caramelize, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add in the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Toss in the eggplant and pomegranate molasses and allow the eggplant to caramelize as well.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- After 5 minutes of cooking, add the spice mixture.
- Let the eggplant cook down further, until it is completely cooked through, about another 15-20 minutes.
- Once the eggplant is cooked, allow it to cool for 15 minutes.
- Next, take out a blender/food processor (if you don’t have one you can mash by hand) and add in the cooked eggplant, feta, lemon juice, parsley, mint, a good drizzle of olive oil and blend until combined.
- Taste to see if any additional salt and pepper is required.
- Garnish with the fresh pomegranate seeds, toasted pine nuts, parsley, mint, and a drizzle of olive oil.
- Serve with toasted pita wedges or any flat bread of your choice.
- It can be served lightly warm or at room temperature, but it can be served chilled.