Total time: 50 minutes, plus 1 hour resting time
4 Chinese eggplants
1 tablespoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
4 cups chopped black kale (lacinto) shallots, minced
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1. Quarter the eggplants lengthwise, keeping the stem end intact. Carve out about one-half inch lengthwise along the inside of each quarter, leaving one-quarter inch of flesh intact. Chop the eggplant pieces that you've removed and sprinkle them and the interiors of the whole eggplants with the salt. Let sit 15 to 20 minutes.
2. In a large sauté pan, heat two tablespoons olive oil over low heat. Add the garlic, shallots and kale and sauté until fragrant and wilted, about 5 minutes. Squeeze out the water from the chopped eggplant and add it to the sauté pan along with the pomegranate molasses and cumin; continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Add the walnuts; remove from the heat.
3. Pat the eggplants dry and fill the cavities with the stuffing; reassemble the quarters and tie with kitchen twine. In a large sauté pan, heat the remaining olive oil, add the tied eggplants and sauté on all sides until golden.
4. Add one-half cup water, cover the pan tightly and remove from the heat. Let sit, covered, for an hour.
5. After an hour, remove the eggplants from the pan, untie and serve, either sliced or whole.
Each serving: 371 calories; 8 grams protein; 22 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams fiber; 31 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 455 mg. sodium.