Serves: 2 | Cooking time: 30 minutes | Difficulty: Easy
This creamy, filling eggplant and chickpea stew is a Middle Eastern take on Sicilian caponata. Rich in bold and bright flavours and incredibly nutritious. Delicious with couscous, rice, quinoa or even on its own. Can be eaten hot or cold, as a side or even as relish.
Toasted almonds lend it a gorgeous nutty crunch and texture that pairs so well with the creamy eggplant and tangy tomatoes.
Add Galilee Za'atar to the eggplant during cooking for some complex herbal notes that will bring out the vegetables' natural flavours.
- Galilee Za'atar spice blend - 2 tablespoons
- 1 large eggplant, trimmed and chopped into thick chuncks
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- Olive oil (extra virgin if possible)
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 20g/small bunch of parsley, roughly chopped
- 2 large ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- Red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon
- 425g / 1 can organic chickpeas, drained
- A handful of slivered almonds
- Sea salt & black pepper
- Place the eggplant in a large pan with a few generous lugs of olive oil, 2 teaspoons of Galilee Za'atar and some salt to taste. Mix to cover the eggplant on all sides and fry on medium heat for 10-15 minutes, until the eggplant is nice and golden and starts to soften. Add olive oil as required if it gets a bit dry but be careful not to soak it in oil.
- Add the onion, garlic and parsley to the eggplant and cook for another 2 minutes or so on medium heat. Add the vinegar and let is absorb. Add some olive oil if the mix seems a bit dry.
- Add the tomatoes, chickpeas and tomato paste, mix gently and simmer for another 20-15 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the sauce is just the right consistency (should be a bit like pasta sauce - not watery). Taste when ready and season with salt, pepper or Galilee Za'atar to taste.
- Meanwhile, toast the almonds in a hot pan with a bit of olive oil or butter until they are golden. Keep moving them in the pan so they don't burn and remove from the heat as soon as they are ready.
- Serve the stew with rice, couscous or on its own with a sprinkle of the almonds on top and some chopped parsley.