Recently, I was watching the IG stories of the amazing Rosie Assoulin, who, apart from designing drop dead cool clothes that I someday aspire to own, is a total boss in the kitchen and has been cooking up a plethora of delicious dishes that are super inspiring. These Lentil Stuffed Eggplants With Goat Cheese had me screenshotting the ingredients and I couldn’t wait to make them. I took a few liberties with her recipe, adding some cumin and cinnamon and using a goat brie instead of a tangier chèvre, simply because it’s what I had at hand.
Let me tell you, this was so good! Was the perfect lunch on our sunny terrace with a cold glas of Riesling and a side of whining kids. 😆
2 medium sized or four small eggplants
4 shallots or 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp harissa paste
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 dried bay leaves
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup (50 g) loosely packed chopped cilantro plus more as garnish
1 cup (200 g) puy lentils
freshly ground black pepper
5 oz (140 g) goat cheese (I used a goat Brie)
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Cut a long, deep slit lengthwise halfway though the eggplants. Place the eggplants into a large cast iron skillet, sprinkle with about 1/2 tsp of salt and put them into the oven. Cook for 45 to 60 minutes (depending on the size of the eggplants), turning them over halfway through.
In a large pan, warm a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and add the onions. Sauté until soft. Add garlic, tomato paste, harissa paste, crushed red pepper, cumin, cinnamon and a few twists of the pepper mill. Sauté until browning slightly, then add 2 cups water, bay leaves, sherry vinegar, lemon juice, cilantro, 1 tsp salt and the lentils. Bring to a simmer, then turn down the heat and cook, covered, for about 40 minutes or until al dente. Stir from time to time.
In an ovenproof dish, drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil onto the cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle 1/2 a teaspoon of salt over them.
Place into the oven with the eggplants and cook for 30 minutes until they are soft, but don’t have any color. Remove from the oven and set aside.
When the eggplants are done, remove from the oven. You don’t need to remove the eggplants from the cast iron skillet. Don’t turn the oven off.
Move onto the next step if your lentils are already finished or put the eggplants aside until they are.
Crank the oven up to 450 F (220 C).
Gently pry the eggplants open along the slit you made before you put them in the oven. Stuff with as many lentils as will fit. Repeat for the remaining eggplants. Cut the goat cheese into quarter-sized (or 1-Euro-sized!) bits and dot on top of the lentil filled eggplants.
Spoon the remaining lentils around the eggplants and nestle the baked tomatoes onto them.
Return the skillet to the oven and cook for a further 15 mins or until the goat cheese is slightly melted and golden. Drizzle with some more olive oil, sprinkle chopped cilantro over the eggplants and serve immediately.