Mediterranean-Style Eggplant "Stew"
A few weeks ago I received 2 beautiful eggplants in my produce box. I wanted to make something really flavorful and yummy with them rater than just roasting it like I normally would.
A quick Google search brought me to this recipe and I couldn't have been happier. (I found it here: https://www.themediterraneandish.com/. Check out her other great Mediterranean recipes too!)
I highly recommend adding grilled chicken and/or a Greek yogurt sauce to this mix. It's a wonderful hearty comfort food full of nutrients and flavor.
I used my Dutch oven for the entire cooking process. If you have one, I recommend using it so you're only getting one pot dirty. Easy peasy :)
1 ½ pound of eggplant (that's 1 large eggplant or 2 smaller ones)
1 yellow onion
1 green pepper
3 garlic cloves minced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
14 oz can chopped canned tomatoes. I like Muir Glen Fire Roasted chopped tomatoes.
14 oz can of chickpeas
Spices and such - dry bay leaf, dry oregano, sweet paprika (or smoked paprika if you prefer), coriander, cinnamon, hint of turmeric, and black pepper.
Fresh Parsley (optional) If you have it, a little fresh parsley or mint is a great garnish to add to this dish. Totally optional.
Salt eggplant - Cut up the eggplant into cubes or large bite-size pieces. Sprinkle with some kosher salt and leave in a large colander in your sink or over a bowl. Let it sweat for 20 to 30 minutes or up to 1 hour, then rinse and pat dry.
Sautee chopped onions, veggies, and spices - Warm up some extra virgin olive oil and add onions, peppers and carrots. Toss around for a few minutes, then stir in garlic, bay leaf and spices (paprika, coriander, paprika, coriander, cinnamon, turmeric, and black pepper). Cook just briefly till fragrant. This is this is where all the flavor in this recipe comes from.
Add chopped tomatoes, eggplant, and chickpeas and bring to a boil - Now, pour in the chopped tomatoes, chickpeas (and chickpea liquid or water), and eggplant. Bring this party to a boil for a good 10 minutes (this is the start of the braising process).
Transfer to oven - Now to finish cooking, cover the eggplant stew and transfer it to a 400 degree heated oven. Let it cook to tender perfection for another 45 minutes or so. Tip: be sure to check on the eggplant stew part-way through cooking, adding a little liquid if you feel it needs it.
When ready, fish the eggplant stew with a generous drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil. Add a garnish of fresh parsley, if you like.
Transfer to serving bowl over my 15-minute couscous or just a side of warm pita bread. A dollop of Greek yogurt or even Tzatziki sauce and some olives make a great addition here. And, to keep with the Greek theme, you can start with a traditional Greek salad.