|For the eggplant boats|
|For the nut and pomegranate filling|
|2 tsp||(0.32 oz)|
|1 clove||(0.11 oz)|
|7 ⅓ oz|
|3 ½ oz|
|3 tbsp||(1.6 oz)|
|500 ml||(18 oz)|
|1 dash||(0.01 oz)|
|3 ½ oz|
|1 tbsp||(0.13 oz)|
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).
In the original recipe, the author uses olive oil instead of canola oil.
Our motivation (apple symbol) for creating this healthier version and a link to the original recipe can be found directly above the recipe photo.
Finely chop the walnuts.
You can grind small amounts of walnuts (without shells) in a coffee grinder and larger amounts in a food processor. You can also crush the walnuts using a mortar and pestle or finely chop them with a knife.
Add the finely chopped walnuts, rice, water, and pomegranate syrup to the saucepan and slowly bring to a boil.
Set aside a few walnuts to use as a garnish. The original recipe doesn’t call for brown rice. But in order to reduce the fat content, we have used 300 g brown rice and 200 g walnuts instead of 500 g walnuts.
Season with salt and pepper and then let simmer on low heat for 30–45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
If necessary, add 100 ml water. The filling shouldn’t be liquidy, but it should be moist. If there is extra water in the filling, simple let simmer unconvered for a few minutes until the water evaporates.
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 mixture and let simmer for an additional 15 minutes, stirring constantly.
Set aside some of the pomegranate seeds to use as a garnish.
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.
Stuffed Eggplant with Nut and Pomegranate Filling is an Iranian dish that is, healthy, hearty, and delicious.
New nutritional profile: This dish contains is a good source of manganese and copper. According to GDA guidelines, it meets more than 50 % of the recommended daily requirement for folic acid and vitamin B6. Thanks to the high proportion of walnuts in this recipe, the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is 4:1, which is under the maximum recommended ratio of 5:1. We have also reduced the amount of fat from 120 % to 50 % of the recommended daily allowance.
Please read more in our article A Vegan Diet Can Be Unhealthy. Nutrition Mistakes. The link to the article can be found under “Motivation” by the apple symbol.
Walnuts and fat content: The largest amount of fat in this recipe comes from the walnuts, which are also rich in calories. Walnuts are the nuts that contain the highest proportion of linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid that is healthy for the heart). In addition, they are rich in tocopherols (many have vitamin E activity,) as well as numerous minerals and trace elements.
Eggplants (aubergines): Eggplants, which are also known as aubergines, are a suptropical solanaceous plant species. There are a number of different types that vary in shape and color. The most common varieties in Europe and North America are oblong and have a dark-violet to black color. The raw fruit can have a somewhat bitter taste, or even an astringent quality, but when cooked it becomes tender and develops a rich, complex flavor.
Pomegranates: Pomegranates are very nutritious; scientific studies show that they have positive benefits on cardiovascular health, cancer, and arthritis prevention. They are not only rich in vitamin C, iron, and phenols, but also stand out on account of their many health benefits. The seeds can be eaten raw.
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.
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.
Chili flakes: If you would like to make this dish a bit spicier, try adding some chili flakes. The spiciness goes well with the sweetness of the pomegranates.