Well, in a twisted turn of events, the universe sends me a husband who just loves them. Since then, I have started experimenting with them and was able to come up with some really good, tried and true recipes. And the funny thing is, once I tried them my way, I actually liked them. However, it is not the case for my brother, his trauma was apparently a more severe one.
This is a classic salad that holds great potential for a delicious appetizer, served on a crostini, a first course or a light lunch. The recipe is very easy and takes minimal time to prepare. Begin by grilling (or roasting) a medium to large eggplant, on all sides until it becomes very soft to the touch and the skin dries and crumbles. Remove and place in an airtight container for a few minutes. This will ease the peeling. Let cool before skinning it. Dice all the vegetables and herbs into bite size pieces and place in a mixing bowl. Chop the eggplant in same size pieces, add to vegetables. Add the pomegranate arils and the pine nuts (toasted). Gently toss in the dressing as to not smash the eggplant. Tada!
1 med/large eggplant
2 armenian cucumbers (approx. 1 cup), sliced in half moons
1 pint baby heirloom tomatoes (or cherry or grape or 1 large tomato), cut in half
2 tbsp basil, freshly sliced
2 tbsp baby mint leaves, whole (or regular mint chopped)
1/2 cup pomegranate arils
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup (scant) lemon juice, freshly squeezed (about 1 lemon)
2 tbsp sesame paste (tahini)
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1/2 tsp garlic, minced (1 clove)
1/2 tsp sea salt
Freshly cracked pepper
Whisk all ingredients until well blended. Drizzle over salad and toss gently. This salad refrigerates well for one day.