Harvest season is in full swing and food blogs are full of stories and recipes about fall food. Two of my favorite blogging friends have recently returned from harvest tours and I’ve been enjoying “tour tweets” and am looking forward to hearing all about their tours!! Rachael, of La Fuji Mama, just returned from a pomegranate harvest tour, hosted by POM Wonderful. Robyn, from the Earthbound Chronicles, just returned from a a Walnut Harvest Tour hosted by California Walnuts. Well, all this talk of pomegranates and walnuts made me even more impatient to try a recipe I recently found in the Wall Street Journal by Daniel Rose – chef and owner of Spring restaurant in Paris, France. This young chef has taken Paris by storm and his restaurant is extremely popular – so popular that when I visited a couple of years ago, I was unable to get a reservation - which was ok, since it gives me a legitimate reason to return (like I need a reason – ha!!) However, since I don’t think that will be happening anytime soon, I was very excited to come across a few of his recipes that were published in the Wall Street Journal. I couldn’t wait to try them – and they didn’t disappoint!
Walnuts and pomegranates are a natural pairing and are common ingredients in Middle Eastern cooking and are two of my favorite ingredients. They are paired here with smoky eggplant and result in a dish that is earthy and yet light… and truly delicious. This dish would be wonderful paired with a roasted red pepper soup, or served alongside roasted meat or chicken- or as Rose recommends, serve over roasted mushrooms instead of eggplant.
Roasted Eggplant with Walnuts, Pomegranate and Mint
(Adapted from Daniel Rose’s “Roasted Eggplant with Pomegranate Vinaigrette”)
- 1 eggplant (1 – 1/2 lbs) – I used about 8 baby eggplant
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large pomegranate, seeded
- 1 small green apple, peeled and diced
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1/2 cup California walnuts, toasted and chopped
- 1 Tbsp. Walnut oil
- 1/4 cup mint, sliced (you could use cilantro and/or parsley)
- salt and white pepper
1. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a sheet pan with foil. Place eggplants on sheet pan, skin side down.
2. Brush sliced eggplant with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and sprinkle with salt and white pepper. Roast eggplant in oven until tender – about 45 minutes for large eggplant and about 20 -25 minutes for small eggplants.
3. Remove eggplants from oven. While eggplants are roasting, combine the pomegranate seeds, apples, shallots, 1 Tbsp. lime juice, remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil and walnut oil. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings.
4. Just before serving, add the walnuts. Spoon pomegranate and walnut mixture over the eggplants and serve.
Note: Rose’s recipe calls for the addition of 1 oz. of cured chorizo which I omitted.