Eggplant and lentils make for a delicious combination of flavors and textures, in a recipe designed for the slow cooker. Just add a green salad for a satisfying meal. Use a medium (approximately 4 quart) slow cooker. Excerpted from The Vegetarian Slow Cooker* by Judith Finlayson. Reprinted by permission. © 2010, Robert Rose, Inc. All rights reserved.
- 1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound) peeled,
cubed (2 inches) and sweated (see Tips)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil (approx.)
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoons ground cumin (see Tips)
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
- 1 cup brown or green lentils, rinsed
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ cup finely chopped dill
In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add eggplant, in batches, and cook until browned, adding more oil as necessary. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware.
Add onions to pan, adding more oil, if necessary, and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, lemon zest, salt and peppercorns and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add lentils and toss until coated. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware. Stir in broth.
Cover and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours or on High for 3 to 4 hours, until lentils are tender. Stir in lemon juice and dill.
To sweat eggplant: Place cubed eggplant in a colander, sprinkle liberally with salt, toss well and set aside for 30 minutes to 1 hour. If time is short, blanch the pieces for a minute or two in heavily salted water. In either case, rinse thoroughly in fresh cold water and, using your hands, squeeze out excess moisture. Pat dry with paper towels and it’s ready for cooking.
For the best flavor, toast cumin seeds and grind them yourself. To toast seeds: Place seeds in a dry skillet over medium hear and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Immediately transfer to a spice grinder or mortar and grind finely.
If you are halving this recipe, be sure to use a small (1½ to 3½ quart) slow cooker.
Complete Step 1. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. When you’re ready to cook, complete the recipe.
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