If Santa could make a dish for Christmas, I bet he’d pick something with red and green. This is one of those dishes that is almost too pretty to eat, but somehow I managed to leave no leftovers of mine. I wanted something different for the side dish for Christmas dinner with The Kid and this one definitely made me smile.
It was simple to do, and you can even make the grains and eggplant ahead of time if needed and reheat right before serving. You could also serve it cold in a pinch as a salad. How’s that for perfection? The pomegranate, tahini and cumin are so Middle Eastern especially when combined with the roasted eggplant.
It brings a bit of international flair to your dinner and makes it seem fancy and special. Even if it’s not and takes almost no time at all to throw together. I’ll keep your secret. Make them think you worked hard to come up with this one.
Use any kind of grain that you like in this recipe. Don’t feel like you have to use farro. I love the nutty, crunchy flavor of farro, but wheat berries, frekeh, quinoa, or even brown rice would work here as well.
Roasted Eggplant with Pomegranate and Cumin Tahini Cream
- 2 medium eggplants (~800g total)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup (166g) uncooked farro
- 1/4 cup fresh mint
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
- 2 Tbsp (28g) tahini
- 1/4 cup (60g) dairy free sour cream (OR regular sour cream)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 cup (200g) pomegranate seeds
- Lemon slices, optional
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Slice the eggplants in half lengthwise. Score the insides of the eggplant with a knife. Be careful to just cut into the flesh and not through the skin. This will help the oil sink into the eggplant as it roasts and add flavor. Drizzle each half with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
Place the eggplants on a cookie sheet, scored side up. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees. While the eggplant is roasting, make the farro according to package directions. Finely chop the mint and cilantro. Once the farro is cooked, fluff with a fork and stir in the chopped herbs.
Mix the tahini, sour cream, and cumin in a small bowl. Whisk in a little water to thin and make it into a salad dressing consistency. I used about 2 tablespoons of water. Remove the eggplants from the oven and cool slightly. Top each eggplant half with the cooked farro, sprinkle on the pomegranate seeds, and drizzle with the cream. Serve with a lemon slice if desired for squeezing and extra cumin tahini cream for drizzling.
Makes 4 servings at approximately 331 calories each – 10g protein, 57g carbs, 7g fat.
I had extra farro left so I made a bed of farro and placed the eggplant halves on top. It was a gorgeous plate and really stood out on the Christmas table. If you’re looking for ways to cut back on the calories you could easily use less grains, and the dish will still be great with the pom seeds and tahini cream.
I used Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream for this recipe since The Kid has a dairy allergy. The recipe works with Greek yogurt or real sour cream as well in its place. Don’t worry about buying the dairy free stuff unless you have a need. This was my first time trying the dairy free sour cream and I splurged because it was for a holiday dinner. Now I’m on a mission to use the rest of it. I’m looking forward to the challenge.