Pomegranate molasses brings tartness, and the feta adds a salty finish to this hearty side dish. Find the molasses where you buy Middle Eastern ingredients, or substitute balsamic glaze. Freekeh is a whole-grain cracked wheat with a nutty flavor and texture. If you can't find it, bulgur will work as well.
5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 cup chopped onion
2/3 cup cracked freekeh or bulgur
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
3/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups unsalted vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
4 (1/2-pound) Japanese eggplants
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses or balsamic glaze
1 ounce crumbled feta cheese (about 1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
How to Make It
Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; cook 6 minutes or until beginning to brown, stirring occasionally. Add freekeh, 1/4 teaspoon salt, red pepper, cinnamon, and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add stock; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until freekeh is slightly al dente. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in rind.
Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Cut each eggplant in half lengthwise. Lightly coat eggplant with cooking spray; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Place eggplant on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 3 minutes on each side or until tender. Remove from grill. Arrange eggplant on a platter; top with freekeh mixture. Drizzle evenly with pomegranate molasses and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle evenly with feta and mint.
MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit www.choosemyplate.gov.