Stuffed Eggplant with Lentils and Millet
Double or triple the recipe for stuffed eggplants and freeze the extras for fast, filling weeknight meals.
- 2 medium eggplants, halved lengthwise
- 2 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. olive oil, divided, plus more to coat pan
- 1 small onion, chopped (1 cup)
- 1 ½ cups chopped button mushrooms
- ½ cup millet
- ⅓ cup green lentils, rinsed and drained
- 3 Tbs. toasted pine nuts
- ½ tsp. ground allspice
- ½ tsp. Aleppo pepper or pinch of cayenne pepper
- 2 ½ Tbs. chopped fresh mint, for garnish
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
- 2 tsp. tomato paste
- 3 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped (1 ½ cups)
1. To make Eggplant: Preheat oven to 450°F. Lightly score cut sides of each eggplant half all around to within 1/4 inch of edges. Sprinkle with salt, if desired.
2. Lightly oil roasting pan, and heat in oven 2 minutes. Place eggplants cut side down in hot roasting pan, and bake 10 minutes. Flip. Spread 1 tsp. oil on each eggplant half. Bake 15 minutes, or until flesh is just tender. Cool 10 minutes.
3. Heat remaining 1 Tbs. oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 7 minutes, or until beginning to brown. Remove 1/4 cup onion, and set aside. Add mushrooms to pan, increase heat to medium-high, and sauté 3 minutes, or until tender. Transfer mushrooms to bowl.
4. Reduce heat to medium, return 1/4 cup onion to pan; add millet, and sauté 2 minutes. Add lentils and 2 cups water, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, 20 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Remove from heat; let stand, covered, 10 minutes. Transfer to bowl with mushroom mixture.
5. To make Tomato Sauce: Heat oil in saucepan over medium-low heat. Add garlic, and cook 30 seconds. Stir in tomato paste. Add tomatoes, increase heat to medium-high, and cook 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, partially covered, 10 minutes, or until sauce is slightly thickened.
6. Reduce oven temperature to 400°F. Scoop out eggplant flesh, leaving 1/4-inch-thick edges for shells. Chop eggplant flesh, and add to mushroom-millet mixture. Add pine nuts, and stir in allspice and Aleppo pepper. Spoon 1 cup filling into each eggplant shell, top each with 2 Tbs. Tomato Sauce, and bake 15 minutes. Serve with remaining Tomato Sauce, and garnish with mint.
July/August 2013 p.69