Eggplant and Chickpea Stew

I am excited to share this recipe, although I cannot take credit for its creation (but I can take credit for a couple of tweaks). It was shared with me by a friend who enjoys cooking and baking as much as I do. This recipe became an instant favorite of mine, not only because it has depth of flavor and textures, but because it is so comforting. As we are quickly coming into the month of September I am tempted to think of fall flavors and comforting one pot meals.

Eggplant and chickpea stew is warm, satisfying, and has a flavor profile unlike any stew I have previously prepared due to one special ingredient….dried mint! It may sound unusual but it lends a signature depth of flavor to this Mediterranean inspired stew and cannot be substituted with any other ingredient. (Plus its a great way to use all of the mint you may have dried from your herb garden.) The friend who shared this delicious creation recommends serving it with pita bread for collecting the sauce, however I like to serve it over cinnamon scented basmati rice (recipe below).

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 tablespoons canola oil
  • One large eggplant, peeled and diced
  • One large yellow onion, sliced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint
  • 1 can cooked chickpeas; drained and rinsed
  • 1-28oz can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • one pinch allspice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat canola oil in very large skillet; add eggplant and cook until eggplant begins to soften and turn brown; about 8-10 minutes on medium heat. Add onions in with the eggplant and saute until onions soften and become translucent; about 5-8 minutes. Add garlic and cook for additional 1-2 minutes.

Add chickpeas, tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, allspice, and salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add dried mint and turn off heat. Let the stew sit on the burner for 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve with pita bread or rice recipe below.

Cinnamon Scented Rice

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup Basmati rice
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Add rice to sauce pot and bring to boil. Add cinnamon stick and rice. Reduce heat to low and simmer according to package directions. Once cooked let sit off the heat for 5 minutes and then fluff with fork. Discard the cinnamon stick; it will flavor the water and give a light cinnamon flavor to your rice which will compliment savory dishes. Enjoy!

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