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Author Notes: I love all dips make with eggplants whether they are baba ghanouj or caponata. I found a recipe from Bon Appetit Nov. 2008 that had eggplant, pomegranate molasses, and cumin and decided to add my own twist to it by adding parsley, mint, and more spices. This dip has great smokey flavor and subtle undertones of fruitiness from the pomegranate elements. —fortheloveofyum
for the spices
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon dried pomegranate seeds (anar dana), found in Indian/Pakistan markets
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
for the dip
- extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium-sized eggplants, peeled and cut into a small dice
- 2-3 shallots, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
- spice mixture (see above)
- 1 cup crumbled Middle Eastern Feta
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped mint
- 1/4 cup fresh pomegranate seeds/arils
- 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- First, dry roast the spices in a dry pan on medium heat until you start to smell their aromas, 5-7 minutes. Cool them for a minute and then transfer to a spice mill or coffee grinder and pulse until they all combine into a uniform mixture. Set aside.
- Heat a medium-sized sauté pan with a nice coating of olive oil on medium heat. When the oil comes to temperature, add the shallots and allow them to caramelize, about 5-7 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Toss in the eggplant and pomegranate molasses and allow the eggplant to caramelize as well. Season with salt and pepper. After 5 minutes of cooking, add the spice mixture. Let the eggplant cook down further, until it is completely cooked through, about another 15-20 minutes.
- Once the eggplant is cooked, allow it to cool for 15 minutes. Next, take out a food processor (if you don’t have one you can mash by hand) and add in the cooked eggplant, feta, lemon juice, parsley, mint, a good drizzle of olive oil and pulse until combined. Taste to see if any additional salt and pepper is required.
- Garnish with the fresh pomegranate seeds, toasted pine nuts, parsley, mint, and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with toasted pita wedges or any flatbread of your choice. I like to serve this slightly warm or at room temperature, but it can be served chilled.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Dip