I grew up mostly around my fathers family. Both his parents were of Eastern European descent. My grandmother was Polish and my grandfather was Czech. As is common in most Eastern European cultures, meat played a significant role in our lives. Most weeks we went to the local Polish store, Warta, and the Austrian butcher near our house. Family gatherings included cold cuts, sausages, and random assortments of European foods. It was a shock to my system when I moved in with Josh, a pescetarian, a non-meat eater. “What are we both going to eat?” I would think. “I don’t really like fish, or vegetables..”. I had to begin to think outside the box about our meals. How was I going to make things I did not like taste good and gluten free. The search began.
There is a large Jewish community in Montreal and you are surrounded by food that comes from the Middle East. I knew that the flavors were something I could work with but I needed a starting point. That is when I discovered Yotam Ottolenghi. He is an Israeli-English chef who seems to have the greatest palette on the planet. I discovered his books and they opened up so many options for fish and vegetables to the point where I now had too many choices!
His book Simple has been one of our favorites. Simple meaning quite literally that the recipes are simple. They are not too time consuming or ingredient crazy. This one looked hearty and appealing to the both of us so we gave it a shot. It turned out to be a great choice. In one bit, you get this wonderful mix of flavors. The roasted tomatoes, the eggplant, the lentil, and the tangy flavor of the yogurt. It is an absolute winner.Print
Puy Lentils with Eggplant, Tomatoes, and Yogurt
- Category: Main Course, Side Dish
- 4 Eggplants (Pricked with a fork)
- 1 Small Carton Cherry Tomatoes
- 3/4 Cup Puy Lentils (Also known as “Green Lentils”)
- 2 TBSP Olive Oil (More to serve)
- 1 1/2 TBSP Lemon Juice
- 2 TBSP Oregano (You can use fresh oregano if you like. If you do, use 3 tbsp.`)
- Salt and Pepper (To taste)
- 6 TBSP Greek Yogurt(Optional)
- 1 Clove Garlic
- Preheat the oven to 475°F or 245 °C.
- Place the eggplants on a baking sheet, prick them with a fork, and roast for 1 hour. Turn them halfway through (at 30 minutes). Remove from oven and set aside until they are cool enough to handle.
- In the meantime, place cherry tomatoes on the same baking sheet. Put them in the oven for 12 – 15 minutes.
- Once the eggplants of cooled, remove the skins and chop into pieces. Place them in a colander so that the liquid can drain from them.
- Take a medium sauce pan and fill it with water. Once the water is boiled, add the lentils. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 20 minutes. Drain them and set them aside so that they may cool a bit.
- Add the lentils, eggplant, tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon juice into a bowl and mix. Scoop mixture onto a bowl. Top with a sprinkle of oregano, yogurt, and a bit of oil. Serve immediately.