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Maggie Beer

Moroccan eggplant and lentils with pomegranate and ricotta 1

Moroccan Eggplant and Lentils with Pomegranate Molasses and Ricotta

Moroccan eggplant and lentils with pomegranate and ricotta 1

Step 1: Dice the eggplants into 2 cetimetre cubes, spread out onto a tray lined with baking paper and sprinkle with salt. Allow to stand for 1 hour.

Step 2: Preheat a fan forced oven to 135°C.

Step 3: Place the lentils into a medium saucepan with the six cups of water and no salt. Place them over a high heat and bring to just below simmering point, then reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for 15–18 minutes or until tender (the quality of lentils has a huge impact on timing). Drain and set aside.

Step 4: Meanwhile, place a non-stick fry pan over a high heat, add three tablespoons of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and once hot, add the onions and cook for 10 minutes until they are golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, chilli and season with a good pinch of salt, and cook for a further 3 to 4 minutes until the onions are a burnished dark brown colour, stir every minute or so, to ensure the onions do not burn.

Step 5: Deglaze the pan with the Verjuice and continue to cook for another minute until the Verjuice has reduced by 2/3rds, remove from the heat and stir through the tomatoes and paprika and set aside.

Step 6: Rinse the salt off the eggplant and pat dry with paper towel.

Step 7: In a heavy based dish with tight fitting lid, place one tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, then sprinkle ½ a cup of the tomato mixture over the base of the pot, top that with half of the eggplant, then sprinkle over half of the lentils. Add the remaining tomato mixture followed by the remaining lentils, and finish off with the rest of the eggplant. Pour over the remaining Extra Virgin Olive Oil and the pomegranate molasses.

Step 8: Cover with the lid and place the dish into the oven for one hour. Remove the lid and stir through the Preserved Lemon. Replace the lid and return to the oven for another 45 minutes to one hour until the eggplant is totally cooked through.

Step 9: Remove from the oven, and whilst still warm stir through the roughly chopped mint and parsley. Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Serve warm with 30 grams ricotta per serve.

Ingredients

  1. 1 tspn salt to salt eggplants
  2. 1.5L 6 cup water
  3. 180g 1 large onion roughly diced
  4. 5 cloves garlic minced
  5. 125ml 1/2 cup Verjuice
  6. 3 medium tomato roughly chopped
  7. 1 long green chilli stem and seeds removed and roughly chopped
  8. 1/4 tspn smoked paprika
  9. 40ml 2 tbspn pomegranate molasses
  10. 20g 1 tbspn Preserved Lemons rinsed, flesh removed and finely chopped
  11. 1 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley tightly packed and roughly chopped
  12. 1 cup mint leaves tightly packed and roughly chopped
  13. 300g 1 1/4 cup ricotta cheese (good quality)

Moroccan Eggplant and Lentils with Pomegranate Molasses and Ricotta appears in

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