This soft eggplant dish has a tangy taste from the pomegranate and balsamic vinegar, while red onions add a bit of jewel-like color. You could toss some pomegranate seeds on top as well when they're in season.
On a slightly related note, look at this weird eggplant we saw at the Carmel market:
We didn't buy that one. For this recipe, I used an eggplant that was large and sleek, and more standard looking -- so that the flesh wouldn't be interspersed with folds of skin.
To prepare one large eggplant:
1 large eggplant
1/4 cup pomegranate syrup
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 small purple onion
6-8 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt (or more, to taste)
Small amount of olive oil for cooking
Optional: Pomegranate seeds, when in season (in the fall)
Slice and "sweat" the eggplant a night in advance: Remove the green top, and slice into 3-4 fat rings. Slice each ring lengthwise, into rectangles -- this is important, because the fibers in the flesh run from the top to the tip, and if you just slice the eggplant into rings, it'll turn into mush once cooked and you'll lose that nice texture. You can cut your rectangles in half. I choose not to peel my eggplant.
Arrange the eggplant slices in a strainer, and sprinkle some salt on each layer. Top with a glass plate and some weights to compress the eggplant, and place on something to catch the juices (it'll start to ooze brown liquid, and you don't want the eggplant to be sitting in this -- or making a mess on your counter). Leave overnight.
To cook the eggplant: Crush the garlic, finely dice the onion, and mix with the pomegranate syrup, sugar and balsamic vinegar.
Drizzle a small amount of olive oil in a large, flat pot. Arrange the eggplant slices in the pot (my pot was large enough that I had only two layers. Pour the sauce on top, cover, and cook on a medium flame for 10-15 minutes, until the eggplant is soft.
Serve hot, cold or lukewarm.
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