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Roasted Eggplant
Stuffed with Curried Lentils
Makes 4 Servings
*1/2 cup brown lentils
*2 cups CIA Vegetable Broth or water
*2 small globe eggplants
*1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for greasing pan
*1/4 cup minced yellow onion
*2 teaspoons minced garlic
*1/2 teaspoon grated gingerroot
*1/2 cup minced white mushrooms
*1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
*1/2 teaspoon curry powder
*1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
*Salt and pepper as needed
1Bring the lentils and broth or water to a boil in a small pot. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the lentils are tender to the bite, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and set the lentils aside, still in their cooking liquid.
2Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Grease an 8 x 11-inch baking pan. Halve the eggplants lengthwise and scoop out some of the flesh, leaving a 1/2- to 3/4-inch wall. Mince the scooped flesh and set aside. Transfer the eggplant halves to the prepared baking pan, skin side down.
3Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and heat until it shimmers. Add the onion, garlic and ginger. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the onion is golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the minced eggplant, mushrooms, lemon zest, curry, cinnamon, turmeric and salt and pepper to taste. Saute over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to release some moisture, about 5 minutes.
4Drain the lentils, reserving the cooking liquid, and add the lentils to the eggplant and mushroom mixture. Add enough of the cooking liquid (about 1/4 cup) to moisten the vegetables well, and then simmer until the liquid is reduced, 6 to 8 minutes.
5Fill the hollowed eggplant halves with the lentil mixture. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until the eggplants are tender and cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve immediately.
  • Small globe eggplants are the perfect size for this dish and sometimes can be found in the supermarket produce section or at farm stands. If you cannot find them, however, use a larger eggplant, leaving the same size wall, but cooking for up to 10 minutes longer; cut it into serving portions after baking.

Recipe from VEGETABLES by The Culinary Institute of America (Lebhar-Friedman Books; April, 2007). Photo (C) Ben Fink.