Roasted Eggplant, chickpea and tomato stew.

The other night I used my new recipe book for the first time. I brought Veganomicon as it seemed to be a popular vegan cookbook. It’s lovely, with that wonderful non glossy paper that I love, and sprinkles of humour throughout the recipes.

I modified one of the recipes within it as we had heaps of eggplant and I wanted to use some. I also wanted to use some dried chickpeas I’ve had in the pantry for a while so it was great to find a recipe using them both. It took about 1 1/2 hours in the end, including time to cook the chick peas that had been soaking overnight. Here’s what I ended up with:

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Doesn’t it look delicious and colourful and very very tasty?

And yes, I cooked it in a wok because my pot wasn’t big enough.

ingredients

Equivalent of 2 medium eggplants. I used one regular and several of the tiny fairytale eggplants.
1 onion
A head of garlic (tone it down if you don’t like garlic as much as me)
2 red capsicum
1 can of tomatoes (crushed/chopped)
1 can of chickpeas, or 1 1/2 cups of soaked and cooked chickpeas if you have the time.
1/2 cup white wine.
Fresh Basil and parsley
Paprika
Ground coriander seeds.
Thyme
Salt and pepper
Olive oil.

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look at our lovely eggplants!

method

Heat your oven to 180c and prepare some baking trays.

If using small eggplants, slice lengthways in half. If using regular eggplant, cut into half lengthways then half across to make quarters, then slice.

Lay them out on the baking tray.

Cut the capsicum into quarters, remove the seeds, brush with olive oil and place cut side down on the tray.

Brush the eggplant with olive oil and throw a little salt and pepper onto them.

The recipe called for roasted garlic, but I didn’t trust it to cook quickly enough as it was already late when i started so I added the garlic at the sautéed stage. It would be lovely roasted though so you now have two options – peel the loose papery skin off the cloves (its ok to leave some on) and place whole on the tray, OR chop/mince the garlic while everything else is roasting.

Put the trays in the oven and prepare everything else while its roasting.

If you aren’t roasting your garlic, chop/mince it now. Chop your onions as well – I just halved them then sliced thin so I had long slivers of onion.

Sautéed the onion and garlic till its starting to brown.

Add the dry spices – paprika and coriander. The recipe called for 1 tsp of coriander and 1/2 tsp of paprika.

I just winged it.

I also added some fresh thyme at this stage, although dried thyme would be fine…. Maybe 1-2 tsp should do it.

Then you splash in the wine and let it all cook down for a few minutes.

Check your veggies and flip them over. Brush with a little more oil if they look a little dry.

Once the onion/herb/wine mix has cooked down a bit, add your can of tomatoes. Give it a good mix, and throw your eggplant in (and roasted garlic if you did that) once they are ready. If you’re ahead of yourself don’t worry, just turn the heat on the tomatoes off and wait for the veggies to finish. You want your veg nice and brown and roasted through.

Put your capsicum into a plastic bag as soon as they come out of the oven. This helps to steam off the skins so you can peel them.

Stir the eggplant/garlic through the sauce and add the chickpeas. It doesn’t matter if you crush or break the eggplant.

Once your capsicum has cooled, peel off the skin with your hands (don’t worry if some is still attached), slice your quarters into strips, and mix through the stew.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Chop your fresh basil and parsley into thin strips and mix through at the last minute.

Let it simmer gently for as long as you like, but don’t let all the moisture evaporate! The flavors will only get better over the next day or so. I had some for dinner and it was great. I then had leftovers the next day for lunch and it was amazing.

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