Roasted Eggplant with Lentils, Goat Cheese and Romesco

Eggplant is delicious with the added smokiness a hot oven or grill imparts; it can be grilled in halves or slices, topped with simmered and marinated lentils and garlicky romesco.

  • By Julie van Rosendaal
  • January 16, 2019
Image Author: Clinton Hussey; food styling by Jennifer Stamper; and prop styling by Nicole Sjöstedt
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

2 to 3 small eggplants, halved lengthwise

Olive oil, for cooking

Salt

½ cup dry French or du Puy lentils

1 garlic clove, peeled

1 to 2 tbsp red wine vinegar

¼ tsp cumin

Handful of baby spinach, torn (optional)

 

Romesco

⅓ cup sliced or slivered almonds, toasted

1 garlic clove, peeled

1 thick slice French bread, toasted

Salt

2 red peppers, roasted

2 tbsp red wine, sherry or balsamic vinegar

1 tsp paprika

⅓ cup olive oil

⅓ cup crumbled soft goat cheese

Pomegranate arils, for serving

Preparation

Preheat oven to 425˚F. Make deep criss-cross cuts in the surface of each eggplant half, place them on (or in) a parchment-lined baking sheet or baking dish, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, until eggplant is soft and golden. (Alternatively, cook them on a preheated grill.)

Meanwhile, simmer lentils and garlic clove in a small saucepan of water for 20 to 30 minutes, until just tender. Drain and toss while still very warm with the spinach, red wine vinegar, cumin, a drizzle of olive oil and pinch of salt.

To make the romesco, combine almonds, garlic, toast (torn into pieces) and a pinch of salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until bread and nuts turn to crumbs. Add red peppers, vinegar and paprika and pulse until well blended.

With the motor running, slowly drizzle in olive oil and process until mixture has the consistency of thick mayonnaise, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Taste and add more salt, if needed.

Spread the roasted eggplant with thick romesco and top with lentils and crumbled goat cheese, or top eggplant with lentils and goat cheese and drizzle with the romesco.

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