It is the eggplant season and I for one have been embracing it shamelessly. Since my own eggplant in my garden is still growing, I've resorted to the beautiful produce of the farmers' markets to satisfy my cravings.
Eggplants love marinades and the mixture of garlic, chilli, rosemary and olive oil is certainly one that will convert even the toughest eggplant-hater into loving them. I'm sure you also know my love for lentils by now and they really go so well with eggplants - this dish had everything I could ask for!
Marinated eggplant and beluga lentils
(Recipe adapted from Burke's Backyard Magazine)
1 large eggplant, cut into 1-2 cm thick slices
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4-5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, extra
1 small clove of garlic, finely sliced
pinch of chilli flakes
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
200g beluga lentils (you can also use brown or French lentils)
2 green shallots, finely sliced
pinch of salt
freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat a grill pan on medium high and brush the eggplant slices with olive oil. Cook the eggplant in batches for a couple of minutes on each side, then lay the slices in a large dish.
2. Combine the marinade ingredients and pour over the eggplant slices. Turn the slices around to coat both sides, then leave to marinade for at least 30 minutes.
3. Cook the lentils until just tender. Drain and place in a large mixing bowl. Add finely sliced green shallots and season with salt and pepper.
4. Slice the marinated eggplants in thick slices and toss into the lentils. Serve the dish warm or room temperature.