I’m about to spend the first holiday season as an almost 100% vegan and my challenge is to make it as fabulous – culinary speaking – as all my previous Christmases. This is so exciting! Eggplants are in my top 5 favorite veggies and I wanted to do something fancy with them while staying true to the “red-green-white” Christmas colour scheme. Tada!!! When these beauties came out of the oven, our living room was filled with such a festive smell that I could have celebrated Christmas right away. But hey, not so fast, there are still a few days to go! My father in law loves to test a bunch of recipes that he’s going to prepare on Christmas day well in advance so that everything is pefect on this special day. I intend to do just like him!!
Don’t be surprised and don’t shy away from the mint and pomegranate seeds….without these ingredients, this recipe would not be the same. They add such a nice touch of freshness and acidity which makes the whole dish perfectly balanced, light and digestible 🙂
Serving: 4 people
Timing: preparation 30 minutes + cook time 30 minutes
– 2 eggplants
– 1 onion
– 4 cloves of garlic
– ½ cup (100g) pearl barley
– 1 can tomato paste 156ml / 5.5 oz
– 2 tbs pomegranate
– a bunch of fresh mint leaves
– 150g feta cheese or other vegan cheese
– olive oil
– salt & pepper
Start by preheating the oven to 400°F (200°C).
In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add salt and cook the pearl barley for 20 minutes.
Wash and cut the eggplants in halves.
Scoop out the eggplant flesh in the center of each eggplant’s half. I usually trace a line with my knife 1cm from the edge and then use a spoon to remove the flesh.
Chop finally the eggplant flesh.
Peel the onion and cloves of garlic. Chop them finely.
In a pan, heat up 2 tbs olive oil over medium heat. Brown the onion and garlic for 5 minutes. Add the chopped eggplant flesh and season with salt and pepper. Let cook for 10 more minutes.
Drain the pearl barley and pour it into the pan with the eggplant preparation. Open the tomato paste can and mix it to the rest of the ingredients. You can add a few tbs hot water to help blend with the other ingredients. Adjust seasoning if need be.
Stuff the eggplant halves with the mixture. Sprinkle with fresh mint leaves, pomegranate seeds and feta cheese.
Cook in the oven for about 30-40 minutes.