Cumin Scented Eggplant and Cauliflower with Pomegranate and Cilantro

I have a confession. My family can be a little bit picky about what produce they will eat. For example, aside from myself, my family doesn’t really like eggplant (which came in my Italian pack this week). They also don’t like cauliflower much (in the basket this week, and last… I have a few on hand still). I can sometimes bribe the kids into eating cauliflower, but eggplant….? And 4 heads of cauliflower?

And today was “Potluck Sunday” at church…

Which, if you didn’t know, is a perfect time to use up some “unwanted” produce and to experiment (or, at least, that’s what I tell myself! Ha!) As I was searching for recipes to use my Eggplant in, I found one that called for pomegranate molasses, which I just happened to make last time we had pomegranate cases available, cilantro, and some pomegranate arils, which I also just happened to have. This seemed like the perfect dish– simple, chic, and intriguing but delicious sounding.  It turned out gorgeous! And, better yet, it was delicious. Elegant. And perhaps a little posh, even. Not to brag. But… I’ll do it. It was great. The cilantro helped meld in the flavors, giving it a truly Mediterranean flavor. And, best of all… there were no left-overs. A true sign of a successful dish! So, when you have some extra unwanted produce from your basket, think outside of the box! Be creative! Try something new and exotic! You might just have a winner on your hands!

 

* Please forgive the picture, as it was taken from my cellphone, at church, in a rush, while holding a cranky baby :-)

Cumin-Scented Eggplant and Cauliflower with Pomegranate and Cilantro

 

Cumin-Scented Eggplant and Cauliflower withPomegranate and Cilantro

Ingredients

  • 5 cups water
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sea salt or coarse kosher salt
  • 1 Eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 head Cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon (or more) olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Pomegranate molasses* (for drizzling)
  • 2/3 cup pomegranate seeds (from 1 pomegranate)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves

Instructions

  1. Stir 5 cups water and 2 1/2 tablespoons sea salt in large bowl to dissolve salt. Add eggplant slices. Place plate on eggplant to submerge; let soak 1 hour. Drain eggplant; pat dry.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, sauté eggplant and cauliflower until brown in spots and softened, 2 minutes per side. Transfer to large rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with remaining eggplant, adding more oil by tablespoonfuls as needed; arrange eggplant in single layer on baking sheet.
  3. Mix cumin and cayenne. Sprinkle eggplant with cumin mixture. Roast until golden and cooked through, 30 minutes.
  4. Remove eggplant from oven; sprinkle with garlic. Arrange eggplant on platter and drizzle lightly with pomegranate molasses. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds and cilantro over. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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