My biggest weakness is probably for MiddleEastern cooking. This is perfectly wonderful winter salad, which can be eaten either hot or cold. No matter what the season, the colors are just beautiful, and the flavors work together perfectly.
Eggplant with pomegranate molasses (from Arabesque by Claudia Roden)
2 – 3 eggplants (weighing 2 pounds)
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
1 – 2 garlic cloves, crushed
salt and black pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
seeds of 1/2 pomegranate
Prick the eggplants in a few places with a pointed knife to prevent them from exploding. Place them on a sheet of foil on an oven tray and roast them in an oven preheated to 475 degrees F for 45 – 55 minutes, until the skins are wrinkled and they are very soft.
When cool enough to handle, peel and drop them into a colander or strainer with small holes. Press them very gently to allow their juices to run out. Then, on a serving plate, cut them up into large pieces and dress them quickly so that the flesh does not have time to discolor.
Mix the lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil, pour over the eggplants, and turn them to coat them all over with the dressing.
Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley and, if you like, pomegranate seeds. Serves 4 to 6.