I love eggplant but I rarely cook with it because my boyfriend claims that he doesn’t like it (but then he begs for seconds on dishes like this). I was so excited about this dish, which I based off a recipe in Plenty, that I endured his pouting and made it anyway. The eggplant gets broiled to the point where you think it’s completely shriveled and burnt, but once the charred skin gets peeled away you’re left with soft, sweet, caramelized flesh. I served it with French lentils (seen here) and a dollop of crème fraiche, which I like to mix altogether before eating. It’s one of those hearty vegetarian meals that fills you up and makes you feel good about yourself.
Roasted Eggplant & Lentils:
- Place one large eggplant on a foiled-lined baking sheet and pierce with a sharp knife in several places.
- Cook eggplant under a hot broiler for 45-60 minutes, turning every 15 minutes, until eggplant is completely charred outside and the skin has broken in many places.
- Remove from the broiler and let cool slightly, then peel off the burnt skin and scoop out the flesh into a fine sieve.
- Let the eggplant sit over the sieve for 15-20 minutes,* then season with salt, pepper, and a splash of red wine vinegar.
- Add 1 c. green lentils to a pot of cold water, bring to a simmer, and cook for 30 minutes, or until al dente.
- Meanwhile, add 2 tbsp. olive oil to a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add in 1 diced onion, 1 diced leek, 3 diced carrots, and 3 diced stalks of celery and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until soft.
- Add in 4 cloves of minced garlic and cook for another minute.
- Drain the lentils and stir them into the pan with the vegetables.
- Turn off the heat, season well with salt and pepper, and add in 1 tbsp. olive oil, 2 tbsp. chopped parsely, and 1 tsp. red wine vinegar.
- Divide lentils onto plates and top with some eggplant and creme fraiche.**
Serves two - three
*This will drain excess liquid off of the eggplant.**Or greek yogurt, or nothing.