Cumin Scented Eggplant with Pomegranate and Cilantro
5 cups water
2 1/2 tablespoons sea salt
2 lbs. eggplant (about 2 medium) cut crosswise into 1/2 inch thick slices
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
pomegranate syrup (recipe follows)
2/3 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
Stir salt into water in a large bowl or casserole dish until dissolved. Soak eggplant for an hour, flipping over halfway through the soak. Drain and pat dry.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat a thin coating of oil in a large skillet and saute eggplant over medium-high heat until there are brown spots and softened (about 2 minutes per side). Do this in batches adding more oil as needed until all are done.
Arrange eggplant slices in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet. Mix cumin and cayenne pepper together and sprinkle over the eggplant. Put in the oven and roast until golden and cooked through (about 30 minutes).
While eggplant is roasting, create the pomegranate syrup: combine 1 cup pomegranate juice, 12 cup sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat.
Stir until sugar completely dissolves. Allow to cook on medium-high for 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat and the syrup will thicken as it cools.
Also, mix together pomegranate seeds, cilantro, and garlic in a separate, small bowl.
Once eggplant is roasted, remove from oven and sprinkle with the cilantro, pomegranate seed, and garlic mixture, then drizzle with pomegranate syrup.