Eggplant, Tomato & Lentil Stew
This is one of those lovely mid summer meals that brings me so much pleasure on a breezy August night. This meal calls for very few ingredients but the flavors are so fresh yet comforting at the same time. We’re starting to have chilly nights here at the farm and I love combining summer produce in heartier dishes. This stew is a warm bowl of comfort without being heavy or overpowering. The ingredients are simple and delicious and include some of my favorite summer veggies like eggplants, cherry tomatoes, garlic, onions and herbs. Served with homemade flatbreads and plenty of fresh yogurt this meal stands alone as a killer vegetarian main dish. However, if you are feeding a crowd this would taste great served in cups instead of bowls alongside grilled chicken, lamb or fish. I was inspired to make this stew from the cookbook “Simple” by Yotam Ottolenghi. I changed things up to adapt to what we have on hand here at the farm and my preferred cooking methods but the inspiration comes from him. Also- if you’re looking for a delicious new cookbook that celebrates the flavors of the Middle East look no further. Simple is your answer!!
I hope you all enjoy this stew as much as we do. Happy late summer eating everyone!
Cheers from Tumbleweed Farm.
Eggplant, Tomato & Lentil Stew
Prep Time: overnight (if you choose to soak your lentils) Cook Time: 45 minutes Serves: 4Soaking Lentils
- 1 cup Puy lentils
- 2 cups warm water
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons cooking fat of choice (butter, ghee, high heat oil, bacon fat)
- 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 large red onion, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- fat pinch of salt
- 2 medium-small eggplants, cut into small chunks (anywhere from 5- 6 cups worth)
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 3 3/4 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- whole milk plain yogurt for serving (goat, sheep or cow's milk yogurt)
- Chili flakes for serving
- Olive oil for serving
- Chopped basil leaves for serving
- Soak your lentils in the warm water and vinegar overnight (or anywhere from 8-12 hours) Drain, rinse and set aside.
- Heat 2 Tablespoons of the cooking fat in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion, thyme, chili flakes and salt and cook, stirring often for about 6 minutes, or until soft and golden. Tip into a bowl, and set aside. No need to wipe out the pot.
- Add the remaining 1 Tablespoon of cooking fat to the pot, add the eggplants and tomatoes. Fry for about 10 minutes over medium-high heat or until the eggplants are golden brown and slightly blackened in spots and the tomatoes have burst. Stir the mixture often to prevent sticking. Return the garlic and onions back to the pot and add the wine, water, bay leaves and lentils. Season the pot with plenty of salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the lentils are soft but still retain a bite.
- Serve the stew with dollops of yogurt, chili flakes, and a drizzle of olive oil. Garnish with fresh basil.
Notes*Use this recipe as a guide and adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary. Cooking times will very from kitchen to kitchen. Taste test as you go.