Monday, August 16, 2010

What's Cookin?: (Meatless Monday) Eggplant Lentil Stew with Pomegranate Molasses

This is a dish I whipped up for Meatless Monday. It turned out okay. I used my two baby eggplant harvested from the garden, as well as store bought eggplant. I felt the recipe was lacking spices. I liked the flavors of this Lebanese Eggplant Stew better.
This was my first conscience effort at Meatless Monday. I hope I can keep it up!

Eggplant Lentil Stew with Pomegranate Molasses
Adapted from
Serves 6

1 1/2 lbs. eggplants (I used the Japanese variety)
1/2 c. brown lentils
2/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 long green chiles (I used Anaheims), stemmed, seeded & coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp. chopped mint leaves
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 c. pomegranate molasses

1) Cut the stems off the eggplant, then cut eggplant lengthwise. Place them on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and let them stand for about 1 hour.

2) In a small saucepan, cover the lentils with about 2 inches of water and bring them to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer until they are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the lentils.

3) Coat a small pot with 1 Tbsp of olive oil. In a bowl, toss the onion, garlic, tomatoes, green chiles, mint, tomato paste, crushed red pepper and 2 tsp of salt.

4) Rinse the eggplant and pat dry. Slice them into 1 inch pieces. Spread about 1/2 of the vegetable mixture in the pot and top with 1/2 of the eggplant and 1/2 of the lentils. Layer with another 1/2 of the vegetable mixture, remaining eggplant, lentils and the rest of the vegetable mixture. Pour the remaining olive oil around the sides and over the vegetables. Drizzle with the pomegranate molasses.

5) Bring the stew to a boil. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until the eggplant is very tender, about 1 1/2 hours.