I spent one summer during college working in a restaurant on the island of Rhodes and found many opportunities to savor the Greek flavors. This recipe reminds me of lightly dressed salads shared under the endless skies above the Greek isles. To truly get into the spirit, though, you’d have to serve dinner with candlelight, plenty of retsina, and lots of laughter!–Elizabeth Yarnell
LC Lentils Lesson Note
For firm, al dente lentils that aren’t as mushy as those that come in a can, the author suggests using 1/2 cup dried lentils plus 1 cup liquid—broth or water—instead of drained, canned lentils. Stick with brown lentils. Even though the color palate is more blah than the flamboyant yellow and orange lentils, they withstand long, slow cooking with more integrity and will brown apart less easily.
Aegean Eggplant Recipe
Hands-On Time: 30 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour | Serves 2
- Olive oil
- 1 cup white rice
- 1 cup vegetable stock or broth
- One 15-ounce can lentils, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 1/2 medium eggplant (cut lengthwise)
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon drained capers
- 4 to 6 Swiss chard leaves, stems separated from leaves
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1. Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).
- 2. Lightly coat the inside and lid of a Dutch oven with olive oil.
- 3. Rinse the rice in a strainer under cold water until the water runs clear. Pour the rice and broth into the pot. Stir to coat the grains and make an even layer.
- 4. Spread the lentils in the pot in an even layer. Scatter the onion on top of the lentils.
- 5. Cut the eggplant horizontally into 1/4- to 1/2-inch slices, then cut the slices in half. Arrange the wedges in a layer. Scatter the garlic on top of the eggplant. Sprinkle with the paprika, pepper, and parsley, then scatter in the capers.
- 6. Mince the chard stems and scatter them evenly in the pot. Drizzle with the vinegar. Roughly cut the chard leaves and pack them into the pot; sprinkle with nutmeg and more pepper.
- 7. Cover and bake for 35 minutes, or until 3 minutes after the aroma of a fully cooked meal escapes the oven. Serve immediately.
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Aegean Eggplant Recipe © 2005, 2009 Elizabeth Yarnell. All rights reserved.