This dish occupies the cover of Ottolenghi’s Plenty. The jewel-like ruby-red pomegranate seeds spread over the buttermilk sauce on the eggplant halves grabbed my attention; I bought Plenty as a result. I must have the book for at least over a year and I finally made the dish. If I’ve known this dish is so easy to put together, I’d have probably made it many times over. The prettiness of the dish gives the impression that this plate is a labor of love, not so much of an everyday dish. How wrong I was. Well, it helps to think twice before making snap judgement and check out the facts and details of the recipe.
Nothing is as simple as cutting the whole eggplant in halves, straight through the stalk, which is part of the look. Make a cross-hatch pattern on the flesh with a sharp paring knife. Season and roast the eggplants in a 400°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes.
Here come the harsh reality of February. Snow is accumulating quickly outside as I’m writing this post while staying warm inside. It’s not exactly the season for pomegranates.
If you can find whole pomegranates in your area, you are in luck and in for a treat. Follow the instructions in the recipe below to get the seeds out of the fruit. Pounding the halved pomegranate in your palm with a fat wooden spoon, among a few techniques I’ve tried, is what I’ve found to be the most efficient and effective approach. However, if you can’t find the fresh ones, Trader Joe’s sells pomegranate seeds in a container.
Sometimes I can’t resist the temptation for getting some out-of-the season fruits; I miss them. Sometimes you just have to go with the heart. Valentine’s day is right around the corner! I’d indulge in a bunch of shimmering pomegranate seeds instead of a dozen of red roses. Why not?
Please visit IHCC to see how other home cooks take on this week’s challenge of a stuffed or filled dish. Their choices may surprise you.