This last week we dusted off the BBQ, swept off the patio bricks, and set up all the seating with nice comfy cushions. We were all ready and eager for our first outdoor dining experience, of what we hope will be a long and warm season. However, today it is a balmy 43 degrees with a slight drizzle – welcome spring!
With dinner looming and no desire to attend to the grill in the rain, it was time to re-consider dinner. I had planned a version of this grilled eggplant with feta salad along with some boneless chicken thighs, though the weather did not permit. So, being the resourceful gal I am, dinner became Eggplant Tagine with Chick Peas.
Go figure, a dish prepared in a weather related huff would turn out to be fabulous. It was so yummy that it just be our new go-to recipe when it is not grilling weather.
Let’s hope that’s not next week………….
- 1 large eggplant, cubed a bit larger than bite size
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 red and yellow pepper, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 red pepper flakes, optional
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 can crushed tomatoes, 28 oz
- 2 cans chickpeas 15 oz, drained and rinsed
- 4 medjool dates, chopped - or dried apricots/sun dried tomatoes
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- handful of parsley, chopped
- 1 lemon juiced
Heat oven to 375 degrees, toss eggplant with 2 tbsp of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread out on a baking sheet.
Slide into the oven and roast, flipping around 1/2 through baking time of 20-25 minutes.
Or until nicely browned and getting soft.
In the meantime, heat remaining oil in large pot over cooktop and add onion, peppers and salt.
Cook over medium heat 4-5 minutes, until soft but not browned.
Add garlic and all the spices cook another minute, then add the stock, tomatoes, dates and beans.
Let simmer over med/low heat for an additional 10 minutes.
Remover eggplant from oven when nicely browned and add to pot, simmer a few more minutes.
Ladle into warmed bowls, add a squeeze of lemon juice, top with parsley and toasted almonds.