So I’m hoping this list of semi-unusual ingredients and ingredients that need some sort of chopping or toasting won’t completely steer you away from trying this recipe. The recipe below is an adaptation from another recipe (link below), and since I found it, it is my go-to for cooking eggplant, one of my favorite treats in the summer. And please resist the urge to roll on the ground laughing if you knew me as a kid when I wouldn’t eat vegetables, let alone an eggplant. And for the girl whose least favorite thing on this planet is to chop herbs (I realize how random this is), the fact I will willingly chop herbs for this salad speaks to the deliciousness factor. The salty olives, the sweet tomatoes and meaty eggplant are a divine combination.
And now that Hugo has become a little more manageable, I actually have time to pour myself a glass of wine and make a dinner that doesn’t require me throwing down whatever I’m doing to stop the dog from whatever he’s doing. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love this dog. He’s so sweet and so much fun to have around. And I know how biased I am, but he is beyond smart. I knew when Miguel and I got Hugo that it would be a change, but I didn’t realized how much of a change it would be. But we’re starting to find our new normal, something I wasn’t sure we’d find in the first few days (read weeks) we had him. I guess it’s like when people have kids, and they say you can’t imagine what it’s like until you have one. I guess the same has been true for us with Hugo, you don’t know what it’s like to have a toddler with a hammer in your house, until said toddler is trying to get through the TV cabinet to the puppy in the window (HIS REFLECTION).
Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped preserved lemon
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium eggplant, cut in to 1” pieces
- 1.5 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup bulgur wheat
- 1/2 cup black lentils
- 3 cups water, divided
- 1/2 cup currants
- 1/4 cup pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup finely chopped kalmata olives
- 1/2 large red onion, finely chopped
- Fresh ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400˚. In a small bowl, combine preserved lemon and next 7 ingredients. Whisk well with a fork. Place your chopped vegetables in a 9 x 13 baking dish lined with parchment paper and coat the vegetables evenly with your spice mixture. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables are staring to brown and the eggplant is pieced easily with a fork, but still has a bit of texture to it.
While the eggplant and tomatoes cook, cook the lentils by bringing 1.5 cups water to a boil. When you reach a rolling boil, add the lentils, cover, turn the heat to medium-low and cook until the lentils are tender, about 15 minutes. When tender, drain in to a colander, rinse with cool water and set aside to cool.
Set a kettle of water to boil and place the bulgur in a heat-proof bowl. When the water has boiled, use a measuring cup to pour 1 1/2 cup water over the bulgur. Cover and set aside for about 30 minutes, until the bulgur has softened and absorbed all the water.
Place your remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add your cooled lentils, bulgur and roasted vegetables. Stir well. You may need to add a couple glugs of olive oil to moisten up the bulgur, I used my favorite meyer lemon olive oil. Add salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste.