Eggplant and Lentil Bake
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Serves 4
 
A delightful blend of juicy grilled eggplant over fragrantly spiced stewed lentils, topped with tahini, pine nuts and parsley.
Ingredients
  • 3 large eggplants, sliced lengthwise
  • ¼ cup cooking oil
  • 1 cup of chopped red onion
  • ¾ cup of diced carrots
  • 2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups cooked brown lentils
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp each of cumin powder and paprika
  • ½ cup vegetable stock or water
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • Fresh parsley to garnish
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
Instructions
  1. Start by prepping your eggplant slices ahead of grilling, take a small amount of sea salt and rub on both sides - this helps extract moisture and adds seasoning.
  2. Heat a grill pan on a medium-high flame an add some cooking oil to a small bowl. Using a small pastry brush coat one side of the eggplant slices, then place in the pan. Repeat with remainder of slices.
  3. Grill for 1-2 minutes, or until some grill marks start to appear, brush some oil on the other side of your slices (which are face up), and flip. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes before using a fork or spatula to gently press down on the slices to drain some moisture. Repeat until all slices are done and set aside.
  4. Preheat your oven to 350 F/180 C
  5. For the lentil filling, start by sautéing the onions with 1 tbsp of cooking oil in a large pan on medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently until fragrant. Add in the carrots and tomatoes, then season with salt, pepper, cumin and paprika. Add the tomato paste and water and cook for a further 5 minutes adding the lentils and stirring through. Add in the crushed garlic and turn off the heat.
  6. Assemble by layering the lentil mixture at the base of a pyrex baking dish and top with the eggplant slices.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes (keeping an eye on the liquid levels, you don't want it to be too dry)
  8. Top with tahini yoghurt dressing, toasted pine nuts and fresh parsley to serve.
Notes
Since all of the ingredients are pre-cooked, you don't need to bake this casserole for very long, just enough for the mixture to bubble up and for the veg to soften
For a chunkier filling, substitute the veg stock with a tin of crushed tomatoes
I use a high-oleic cooking oil blend, but use whatever you have on hand
Recipe by One Arab Vegan at http://www.onearabvegan.com/2019/08/eggplant-and-lentil-bake/