I was going through my recipe books with a friend, and she was utterly surprised to find out that I just happened to have pomegranate molasses for this recipe already in my pantry. My cheeky response was . . . “doesn’t everybody?”
Seriously though, I had bought the pomegranate molasses ages ago for a particular recipe I ended up not liking very much, and have been looking for an opportunity to use it ever since. Hence my excitement at finding the Pomegranate Glazed Eggplant with Tempeh recipe in Heidi Swanson’s “Super Natural Every Day” cookbook.
Pomegranate is one of those flavors that it so unusual, just the right mix of sweet and tart. It is a fruit that has been cultivated in the Middle East since ancient times, and has been mentioned in many ancient texts including the Old Testament. Pomegranates are used in cooking, baking, juices, smoothies and alcoholic beverages, such as martinis and wine, and can give you up to 12% of your daily required intake of vitamin C. You can usually find pomegranate molasses at a middle eastern shop, or sometimes at your local natural food type store.
Tempeh, is a kind of patty made of highly nutritious fermented soybeans. To learn more about the this food you can read my Day 18 – Teriyaki Tempeh Bowl post.
This recipe is Vegan, gluten and dairy free, if you leave off the feta. I served it over a bed of couscous made with currants, green/spring onions, and dry roasted pistachio nuts, but realistically it would go well with almost any grain or pulse: rice, wild rice, Israeli couscous, bulger, quinoa, etc . . .
Pomegranate Glazed Eggplant with Tempeh
- 1 long thin Asian eggplant (about 225 g or 8 ounce), cut into 25mm or 1 inch chunks
- 255 grams or 8 ounces tempeh, cut into 10 mm or 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 cup peeled and diced winter squash, pumpkin, sweet potato, or kumara
- grated zest of 1 small lemon
- 1 teaspoon fine grain, sea salt
- 3 medium cloves of garlic, smashed
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup pomegranate molasses
- 1/3 olive oil
- 1/3 cup fresh coriander/cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta or ricotta
Preheat the oven to 180 C or 350 F, with the rack int he middle of the oven.
In a large bowl combine the cubed, eggplant, tempeh, and squash.
Prepare the glaze by sprinkling the salt over the smashed garlic, and then turning the garlic into a paste, either in a mortar and pestle or by continuously chopping and smashing the garlic with the flat of your knife. Combine the garlic paste in a small bowl with the chili flakes and pomegranate molasses. Whisk in the olive oil.
Then drizzle 3/4 of the glaze over the ingredients in the large bowl. Toss well and transfer them to a rimmed baking sheet trying to arrange the ingredient sin a single layer.
Bake for 45-60 minutes until the eggplant and squash are soft and starting to caramelize. About 35 minutes into baking give the ingredients a good toss on the pan.
Once out of the oven drizzle with the remaining glaze, and sprinkle with the feta and fresh coriander/cilantro.
Serve warm with couscous or your grain of choice.