Pomegranate Eggplant Relish
Pomegranates are picked ripe. Select the heaviest one you can find, because weight is a sign of juiciness. You can also use a pomegranate molasses substitute, found at Middle Eastern markets.
1 cup pomegranate juice
1⁄4 cup sugar
1⁄3 cup olive oil
1 med. eggplant, peeled and diced
1 med. red onion, chopped
2 tbsp. minced garlic
1 cup tomato juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 fresh pomegranate
1⁄4 cup chopped fresh mint
Mint sprigs, optional
1. Combine pomegranate juice and sugar in saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring, 20 min., until reduced to 1⁄3 cup syrup.
2. Sauté eggplant in hot oil 5-7 min., until seared and soft. Reduce heat; add onion and garlic; sauté, 4 min.
3. Stir in tomato juice and pomegranate syrup; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 min., stirring. Remove from heat; add salt and pepper.
4. Score pomegranate and place in bowl of water. Break open to free the arils (edible juice sacks and seeds inside). Sieve arils and measure 1⁄2 cup.
5. Stir arils and mint into eggplant. Garnish with mint. Pairs well with grilled lamb.