This fool proof mediterranean braised eggplant recipe is perfection. Tender eggplant braised with fragrant spices, chickpeas, peppers and tomatoes. It is a completely satisfying meatless dinner or side dish. Bonus is that it is vegan and gluten-free. Enjoy!
Mediterranean Eggplant Stew
- 1.5 lb eggplant, cut into cubes
- 1/4 cup Olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper (any color), stem and innards removed, diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 dry bay leaves
- 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp organic ground coriander
- 1 tsp dry oregano
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, optional
- 1/2 tsp organic ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 28-oz can chopped tomato
- 2 15-oz cans chickpeas, reserve the canning liquid
- Fresh herbs such as parsley and mint for garnish
- Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place eggplant cubes in a colander over a large bowl or directly over your sink, and sprinkle with salt. Set aside for 20 minutes or so to allow eggplant to “sweat out” any bitterness. Rinse with water and pat dry.
- In a large dutch oven, heat 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil over medium-high until shimmering but not smoking. Add onions, peppers, and chopped carrot. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly, then add garlic, bay leaf, spices, and a dash of salt. Cook another minute, stirring until fragrant.
- Now add eggplant, chopped tomato, chickpeas, and reserved chickpea liquid. Stir to combine.
- Bring to a rolling boil for 10 minutes or so. Stir often. Remove from stove top and transfer to oven.
- Cook in oven uncovered for 45 minutes until eggplant is fully cooked through to very tender. (While eggplant is braising, be sure to check once or twice to see if more liquid is needed. If so, remove from oven briefly and stir in about 1/2 cup of water or chicken broth at a time.)
- When eggplant is ready, remove from oven and add a generous drizzle of olive oil, garnish with fresh herbs (parsley or mint). Serve hot or at room temperature with a side of Greek yogurt or even Tzatziki sauce and pita bread.