Stuffed Eggplant with Herbed Bulgur

Ingredients:

  • 3 small eggplants
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon za’atar spice
  • 1/2 cup dry bulgur wheat
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, tightly packed
  • 1/4 cup scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 lemon, zested and juiced

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Wash the eggplants and slice them in half lengthwise. Using a pairing knife, score the eggplant halves with diagonal crosshatches, making sure not to cut through the skin. Drizzle each eggplant half with about a half-tablespoon of olive oil each. Season with the salt, pepper and za’atar spice. Bake, cut-side up, for about 45 minutes or until the eggplants are completely soft.

While the eggplants are baking, place the dry bulgur in a medium-sized bowl and pour boiling water over to cover by 1/2 inch. Place a kitchen towel over the bowl and let stand for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the towel, fluff the bulgur with a fork, and taste. If the grain is still hard, recover the bowl with the kitchen towel and check back after 5 minutes.

Finely chop the cilantro. Once the bulgur is soft, drain any excess water. Toss the bulgur with the parsley, cilantro, scallions, pine nuts, pomegranate seeds, lemon zest and juice, and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Season to taste with sea salt.

Transfer the cooked eggplants on to a platter and spoon the herbed-bulgur salad over the eggplants. Garnish with extra pomegranate seeds and pine nuts.

Serves 3 as a main, 6 as a side. From The Kitchn

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