Charring eggplant skin until smoky gives this gorgeous flavour and tender silky texture to this Mediterranean dish topped with a lentil, pomegranate and walnut crunch that gives it a delightful mix of flavours and textures. Serve alongside your favourite dishes as a part of a feast but with all the lovely lentils and walnuts it’s hearty enough to enjoy by itself for a tasty vegetarian meal.
Pomegranate come into season late summer into autumn and pair perfectly with eggplant (also in season) to create this tasty Mediterranean dish.
1.Preheat a large grill pan (or plate) over high heat.
2.Halve eggplant lengthways. Score deep diagonal lines 2cm (¾in) apart in a cross-cross pattern into eggplant flesh, using a small knife (don’t pierce the skin). Place eggplant, skin-side down, in hot pan. Cover with foil (or a large oven tray); cook for 15 minutes or until skin is charred and eggplant flesh is soft. Turn eggplant; cook, cut-side down, for a further 5 minutes or until flesh is very soft. Carefully transfer eggplant, cut-side up, to a shallow roasting pan.
3.Stir tahini, pomegranate molasses, olive oil, salt and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl until combined.
4.Preheat oven grill (broiler) to medium heat.
5.Brush each eggplant half with 1½ tablespoons of the tahini mixture. Place eggplant under the grill for 10 minutes or until dark golden and starting to caramelise.
6.Meanwhile, make lentil and pomegranate crunch, then green yoghurt.
7.Serve eggplant topped with lentil crunch, drizzled with green yoghurt.
Lentil and pomegranate crunch
8.Finely grate rind from lemon into a bowl. Add remaining ingredients; mix well. Season.
9.Add remaining ingredients; mix well. Season.Process ingredients in a small food processor until smooth. Season.
To remove pomegranate seeds (arils), cut a whole pomegranate in half crossways; hold it, cut-side down, in the palm of your hand over a large bowl, then hit the outside firmly with a wooden spoon. The seeds should fall out easily; discard any white pith that falls out with them. Pomegranate seeds can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.