|For the eggplant boats|
|For the nut and pomegranate filling|
|2 tsp||Olive oil|
|11 oz||Walnuts, shelled|
|3 tbsp||Pomegranate syrup|
|250 ml||Tap water|
|1 dash||Black pepper|
|3 ½ oz||Pomegranates|
|1||Lemon, raw, without peel|
|1 tbsp||Parsley, fresh|
For the eggplant boats
Cut the eggplants in half, place in enough well-salted water to cover, and let rest for 30 minutes.
This way the eggplants will cook quicker. In the meantime, you can continue with the other steps.
For the nut and pomegranate filling
In a saucepan, sauté the onions in a little oil until they are translucent and then add the garlic (3-5 minutes).
Grind the walnuts to make walnut flour. This step is not necessary if you have already bought walnut flour. However, store-bought walnut flour usually comes from an oil mill that has abstracted the valuable oil.
You can grind small amounts of walnuts (without shells) in a coffee grinder and larger amounts in a food processor. Alternatively, you can use a pestle and mortar or wrap the walnuts in a towel and crush them with a wooden mallet or hammer. It is helpful to let the nuts cool in the fridge or even the freezer beforehand. You can pass the mixture through a sieve to collect any remaining coarse pieces and then crush these again.
Place the walnut flour and pomegranate syrup in a saucepan along with the water and slowly bring to a boil.
Season with salt and pepper and then let simmer on low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While the mixture is cooking, you can continue with the pomegranates. You will need about 100 g of pomegranate seeds, which should be carefully extracted from the fruit.
There are several videos available, for example, on YouTube that clearly explain how to peel and deseed a pomegranate. It works best to cut the pomegranate in half and place in a bowl with cold water. Use your fingers to release the seeds. They will immediately sink to the bottom of the bowl and the white pith will float to the top. This way you can easily remove the pith and then strain out the pomegranate seeds.
Fold the pomegranate seeds into the walnut flour and syrup mixture and let simmer for an additional 15 minutes, stirring constantly.
For this step, carefully and slowly stir in the required ingredients using a spoon or a spatula.
Take the eggplants out of the water and pat dry using a clean dish towel.
Make two shallow cuts lengthwise into the eggplant flesh and sear them in a heated skillet 4-5 minutes on each side.
The original recipe states that you should fry the eggplant 2-3 minutes on each side, but we recommend 4-5 minutes so that you can achieve a better texture.
Squeeze the lemons and then add to the nut and pomegranate filling.
Fill the eggplant boats with the pomegranate and walnut mixture. Garnish with pomegranate seeds, chopped walnuts, and a little parsley and serve.
Walnuts and fat content: The largest amount of fat in this recipe comes from the walnuts, which are also rich in calories. Walnuts contain a relatively high amount of unsaturated fatty acids, including linolenic acid. Although current research shows that omega-3 fatty acids are healthy for the heart, we recommend using a more moderate amount of walnuts for this recipe. This is because walnuts have a less than ideal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. The original recipe for four servings called for 500 grams walnuts; we have reduced this to 300 grams, which comes to 75 grams per serving.
Grenadine is not pomegranate syrup: Grenadine is a mixture of various berries that often contains artificial fruit flavors, vanilla, dyes, anthocyanins, preservatives, and the like. In contrast, pomegranate syrup is an alcohol-free fruit syrup that is sweetened with sugar and has a deep red color. When you are buying pomegranate syrup, make sure that the product is a pure pomegranate syrup and not grenadine.
Additions for the filling: If you like, you can add 150-200 g seitan strips to the Nut and Pomegranate Filling and serve the dish with rice.
Preparing the walnuts: To save time, you can grind the walnuts ahead of time or use a store-bought walnut flour. It can be a coarser mixture; it doesn’t need to be too fine.
Buy pomegranate syrup or make it yourself: You can find pomegranate syrup in larger supermarkets or in Middle Eastern stores. You can also make your own pomegranate syrup. See our recipe Classic Pomegranate Syrup.
Oil: If you prefer a different type of oil, you can use it in place of the olive oil called for in the recipe. You can change the flavor this way to suit your taste and, depending on the type and amount of oil, also the nutritional aspects. For example, you might want to use canola oil, which contains up to three times more unsaturated fatty acids as compared to olive oil.