Roasted Eggplant with Pomegranate, Pickled Chilies and Pecans

by Chef Hugh Acheson

Total Prep Time

45 - 60 mins

Servings

4

Degree of Difficulty

Easy

Ingredients

1/4 cup arils from POM Wonderful Pomegranates or 1/4 cup POM POMS Fresh Arils
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons sugar
20 thin jalapeño chili slices
4 Japanese eggplants (about 2 lbs.)
1/4 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
2 teaspoons tahini (roasted sesame seed paste)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 teapsoons fresh lemon juice
2 cups arugula or watercress
1/4 cup pecans, toasted and crushed

Preparation

1. Prepare fresh pomegranate arils, if necessary.* 2. Combine white wine vinegar, water and sugar in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and add jalapeño slices; let stand 15 minutes. Drain. 3. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. 4. Place whole eggplants on grill rack; grill, turning frequently, for 15 minutes or until charred on all sides and tender when pierced with a thin knife. Remove from heat; gently scrape off charred skin, if desired. Cool eggplants slightly; halve lengthwise. Lightly score flesh. 5. Combine yogurt, tahini, 1/4 teaspoon salt and garlic; stir well. Drizzle 4 teaspoons olive oil and lemon juice over eggplant flesh; top with yogurt mixture. 6. Combine arugula, remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl; toss gently. Top each eggplant half with about 1/2 cup arugula, 5 jalapeño slices, 1 tablespoon arils and 1 tablespoon pecans.

*To prepare fresh arils, score 1 large POM Wonderful Pomegranate and place in a bowl of water. Break open the pomegranate under water to free the arils (seed sacs). The arils will sink to the bottom of the bowl and the membrane will float to the top. Sieve and put the arils in a separate bowl. Reserve 1/4 cup of the arils from fruit and set aside. (Refrigerate or freeze remaining arils for another use.)