Thursday, 10 September 2009

Lentil & Eggplant Salad

Amazing that this is the first eggplant dish I have posted since I started this blog. It's not that I don't like eggplants, it's just that they're not around for long, and I guess I was distracted during both of the other eggplant seasons in which I was blogging. This salad happened because I bought an eggplant without any plan, and then I bought some chipotle chile powder at Bulk Barn, and got some cilantro at Keady and thought they could all be combined to good effect.

We enjoyed this salad quite a bit, although I am a bit disappointed in the chipotle powder. It had an odd quality about it that did not seem right but I could not quite put my finger on it until I looked it up in wikipedia. Bingo - the odd flavour was of those "hickory" flavoured potato sticks, and the culprit was liquid smoke. Bah, humbug. Is nothing sacred? Apparently not. Next time I will use my smoked Spanish paprika instead, although if you could get some real chipotle chile powder I think it would be amazing.

For the tomatoes I used little yellow and gold ones out of our garden. *smug, smug*

4 servings
1 hour prep time - also allow 1/2 hour to rest

Lentil & Eggplant Salad
Cooking in Advance:
1 large purple (Italian type) eggplant
1 or 2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup raw brown, green or de Puy lentils
2 cups water

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Wash the eggplant, and pierce it in several places with a fork. Set it in a roasting pan to catch the drips, with the garlic cloves under it, and roast it until quite soft; about an hour.

Meanwhile, cook the lentils in the water until tender; rinse, drain and cool.

When the eggplant and garlic are roasted, let them cool. If you fear the eggplant might be bitter, split it open and sprinkle generously with salt. Let it sit for about an hour, then rinse it out.

Peel the eggplant, and dice it. Mince the garlic and mix it with the eggplant, and the drained cool lentils.

Finish the Salad:
1/3 cup minced cilantro
black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle or hot smoked paprika
1 cup diced fresh tomatoes
the juice of 1/2 lemon
2 or 3 shallots, or a small onion
1 tablespoon sunflower seed oil
2-3 tablespoons sunflower seed oil more

Wash, dry and mince a good handful of cilantro. Add it, with a good grind of black pepper and the chipotle or paprika, to the lentils and eggplant. Dice the tomatoes and add them, with the lemon juice.

Finely mince the shallots, and sauté them until soft and golden in 1 tablespoon of oil. Add them to the salad, and mix in the remaining oil. Let the salad rest for at least 1/2 hour before serving.


Anonymous said...

Yum! This is just the type of dish we like to make! I love the way you recommend finishing it.

Joanne said...

I can't believe you haven't featured an eggplant recipe on the blog! I never noticed that before I guess. I adore eggplant but have never had it with lentils. The dressing for this sounds amazing!

Sophie said...

I love eggplants (aubergines ) as we say in Belgium. I so digg your lovely & super delicious salad!!

apart & yummie too!