Braised Lebanese Eggplant with Chickpeas
Slow-cooking eggplant in tomato sauce makes it incredibly silky and tender. Choose a marinara sauce that has as few ingredients as possible so the flavors don't overwhelm the eggplant.
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced (1 ½ cups)
- 6 medium Japanese eggplant, halved lengthwise and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
- ½ tsp. ground allspice
- ¼ tsp. ground cumin
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
- 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 2 large mint sprigs, plus 2 Tbs. chopped mint
1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, and sauté 7 minutes, or until soft. Stir in eggplant, and cook 5 minutes or until beginning to brown. Add garlic, allspice, and cumin, and cook 1 minute more.
2. Stir in marinara sauce, vinegar, and 2/3 cup water, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in chickpeas. Season with salt and pepper. Lay mint sprigs on top of eggplant mixture, cover, and transfer pot to oven. Cook 45 to 50 minutes, or until eggplant is tender. Remove mint sprigs, and stir in chopped mint. Serve hot or at room temperature.