May 012013
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Marinated Baby Eggplants with Pomegranate Syrup



I am sure that everyone has at least one recipe which they are always looking at and thinking, ‘Hmm, I should really get around to making that one of these days.’ But for some reason or another you never quite manage it.


For me, Marinated Baby Eggplants with Pomegranate Syrup is that recipe. It is from one of my absolute favorite Middle Eastern cookbooks, ‘The New Book of Middle Eastern Food’ by Claudia Roden. It is an intensely flavored Syrian eggplant salad bursting with flavors ranging from sweet to salty and everything in between. The eggplants need at least 12 hours to marinate in the refrigerator, so it’s a great make-ahead salad.





by Claudia Roden

(Serves 4)



1 lb / 450 g baby eggplants (aubergines), approximately 3-4 inches long

5 whole garlic cloves, peeled

2 tsp salt

Generous pinch of sea salt

4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp pomegranate syrup (also called pomegranate molasses or concentrate)

Juice of half a lemon

1/4 tsp ground red chilli powder

1/2 tsp ground cumin powder

3 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley



  1. Wash the baby eggplants. Keep the stems on the top, but peel off the cap around the stems.
  2. Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise, but only 3/4 of the way up so that they remain attached at the stem end.
  3. Bring about 2 liters of water to the boil. Add 2 tsp of salt, 5 peeled garlic cloves and baby eggplants to the boiling water. Boil for 10-15 minutes, until soft. Drain the eggplants and garlic cloves.
  4. Prepare the pomegranate marinade by mashing the boiled garlic cloves with the back of a fork, and mix with a generous pinch of sea salt, 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 2 Tbsp pomegranate syrup, juice of half a lemon, 1/4 tsp ground red chilli powder, 1/2 tsp ground cumin powder, 3 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley.
  5. The original recipe leaves the eggplants attached at the top, but I prefer separating them at the stem at this point so that each eggplant is two separate halves.
  6. Roll the eggplants in the pomegranate marinade, allowing the cut sides of the eggplant to absorb the marinade well.
  7. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours and serve cold.



From: ‘The New Book of Middle Eastern Food’ by Claudia Roden 

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