BURN bites: fattoush salad with glazed eggplant + crunchy pita

Pom Salad 1
Pom Salad 1

Summer-time means swimsuits and swimsuits mean...salads! Lots and lots of salads to keep us feeling full and our tummy's looking trim. Being that we will be making quite a few of these bad boys as the warm weeks go by, we've been searching high and low for new and refreshing ways to jazz up our leafy greens. The recipe below is by and large one of our favorites! It is a fresh take on a Mediterranean staple that combines the crisp flavors of mint and lemon with rich pomegranate and hearty eggplant - we even added garbanzo beans to up the protein factor making it a perfectly balance option for lunch or dinner. What You'll Need:

For the Salad-

1 Italian eggplant, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds

1 can low-sodium garbanzo beans

3 T olive oil, divided

2 4-inch whole-wheat pitas, split and torn into bite-size pieces

1 T pomegranate molasses*

2 small heads romaine, cut into bite-size pieces

1 c. fresh parsley leaves

1 c. fresh mint leaves

1 c. pomegranate seeds

*Even in the most food-centric cities, this can be a hard ingredient to find. Luckily, it is a very easy one to make! See below:

Pomegranate Molasses: In a large saucepan, combine 4 c. pomegranate juice, 2 c. sugar and 1/4 c. lemon juice over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture begins to boil. Turn down heat and continue to simmer until the mixture has been reduced to 1 1/4 c. (about 1 hour).

For the Dressing-

1 T pomegranate molasses

1 T white balsamic or white wine vinegar

1/2 t minced garlic

1/2 t sumac, plus more for garnish

1 T fresh lemon juice

1/4 c. grapeseed oil

1/2 t salt

How To Make It Happen:

Combine all dressing ingredients in a tightly lidded jar and shake. Begin to prepare your eggplant and pita chips by preheating oven to 400°F. Brush both sides of eggplant with 2 tablespoons oil and place in a single layer on one half of a parchment lined baking sheet. Salt to taste and roast for 10 minutes, until eggplant starts to soften. Once this happens, flip eggplant rounds. Toss pita with remaining tablespoon of olive oil, spread on the other half of the baking sheet, and return to the oven for about 10 minutes, until pita is crisp and eggplant is very soft and browned in spots. Remove from oven and brush eggplant with pomegranate molasses.

If you are unable to serve this dish immediately or are simply feeding fewer than 4, a mason jar can be a great tool for keeping your salad fresh all week! Layer ingredients in single serving portions beginning with the dressing and items that wont mush up when wet (in this case, your garbanzo beans). Continue layering - making sure to place your leafy greens and crunchy toppings closest to the lid - and then seal. Shake to mix all ingredients just before you're ready to eat!*

pom salad 2
pom salad 2

*This recipe was originally found in Women's Health Mag and may also be viewed on their website here.