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
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.
While the eggplant is cooking, place walnuts in the food processor and pulse until texture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Set aside.
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.
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.
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.
Scoop into a bowl, drizzle olive oil over the top and garnish with pomegranate seeds.