Eggplant walnut pâté with pomegranates

By • December 2, 2012 • 10 Comments


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Author Notes: This is adapted from a "vegan påté" recipe by Dr. Andrew Weil. I started to fiddle around with the ingredients a while back because the eggplant and walnuts were too mild, and the garlic and ginger were too strong. So, by roasting the garlic and adding the pomegranate sauce (a fruity balsamic can be substituted if you can't find the sauce) rounded out the flavors, making it j~ust right. And sprinkling the dish with the ruby red seeds added a refreshing texture contrast.
This Goldilocks is not vegan, nor are my holiday dinner guests. However, it's always a welcome addition to a dinner party because it's hearty, festive and unique – your perfect party guest.
Serve with your favorite edible bite-size vessel. It goes particularly well with crispy pita chips. I like to serve it at room temperature or slightly warm. But this dish also chills nicely to a solid shape, behaving much like its meat equivalent, hence the label vegan påté. It can be sliced and enjoyed in a sandwich or a wrap the next day.
looseid

Serves 8-10

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 cup shelled walnuts
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons pomegranate sauce (optional)
  • salt to taste
  • fresh pomegranate seeds
  • extra virgin olive oil to drizzle
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Make small slits around the eggplant with a knife. Place on a heatproof dish and bake in the oven until skin is dry and the inner flesh soft, about 40-50 minutes, depending on the size.
  2. While the eggplant is cooking, place walnuts in the food processor and pulse until texture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Set aside.
  3. Heat a skillet on high heat and dry-roast the cloves of garlic with the papery skin still on. Keep on heat, tossing occasionally, until the skin becomes charred all around and the cloves soft. Remove skin and set aside.
  4. Remove eggplant from the oven and let it rest. When cool enough to handle, discard the skin and place the soft pulp in a colander over a bowl to let the liquid drain from the eggplant.
  5. Place the eggplant, roasted garlic, grated ginger, olive oil, ground spices and pomegranate sauce in the food processor with the ground walnuts. Process until smooth and creamy. Season with salt to taste.
  6. Scoop into a bowl, drizzle olive oil over the top and garnish with pomegranate seeds.

Comments (10) Questions (0)

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about 1 year ago susan g

I made this with pecan meal and pomegranate molasses. I'm really happy with it, and the flavors get better and better. It's really nice in a wrap -- I've tried various combinations and they've been tasty.

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about 1 year ago looseid

That sounds like a great combination. You're right, this dish ages and evolves well. So happy you enjoyed it. Thanks!

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over 1 year ago JanetFL

Thank you for the recipe! This sounds so good that I googled Arifoglu Pomegranate Sauce and here's what I found:
http://www.foodsofturkey...

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over 1 year ago looseid

Fantastic, even a recipe to how to make it if not available! Thank you, Janet.

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over 1 year ago JanetFL

You're welcome! I will probably try to make pomegranate sauce from that recipe.

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over 1 year ago cookinginvictoria

I tested this recipe for CP consideration, and I thought that it was really delicious. Just wanted to share my comments with the food52 commmunity.

I loved this unusual fusion Mediterranean-Middle Eastern starter with its vibrant, robust flavors. Eggplant and garlic are roasted to bring out their sweetness, spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves more traditionally used in baking add some warm, floral notes, and walnuts contribute texture and a toasty accent. Both pomegranate molasses and seeds brighten the dish with a subtle but welcome hint of sourness. I added a touch more olive oil than the recipe called for to make the dip more creamy and I garnished it with sea salt to bring out the flavors even more. I served this dip with pita chips and raw veggies at a party to some very picky guests. It was instantly devoured and won raves.


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over 1 year ago looseid

Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to test this recipe. I really have nothing to add to your thoughtful review. I'm thrilled to have indirectly taken part in your holiday festivities!

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over 1 year ago looseid

The bottle I have is a Turkish product that says "Pomegranate Sauce 'Specially for salads'" (mfr. Arifoglu), glucose syrup being the primary ingredient. It's tart, not sweet. Perhaps it is interchangeable with pom molasses, but I'm not certain. You could even make your own by reducing the fruit juice, depending on how deep you're willing to venture.

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over 1 year ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

when you say pomegranate sauce do you mean the molasses? This sounds great ...

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over 1 year ago looseid

The bottle I have is a Turkish product that says "Pomegranate Sauce 'Specially for salads'" (mfr. Arifoglu). It's tart, not sweet. Perhaps it is interchangeable with pom molasses, but I'm not certain. You could probably make your own by reducing the fruit juice, depending on how deep you're willing to venture.