Wednesday, February 22, 2008
I think chickpeas, eggplant and yogurt are a Mediterranean match made in heaven. In one of Paula Wofert’s books, “The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean“, she has a recipe for an eggplant and chickpea stew that I love. That one is more like a thick Caponata and includes tomatoes, but it is sort of an inspiration for this combo here.
I first salted the thick cut eggplant and let them drain overnight. After rinsing and drying them, I marinated them in a mixture of pomegranate molasses, garlic and thyme. I let them sit in the marinade till I got back from work. Looking back at this, I should’ve broiled the eggplant. Instead I floured and pan fried them in my cast iron skillet. Broiling cooks them more evenly and makes them less greasy.
The chickpeas came from a can (almost all canned beans and legumes are very decent products) and were quickly sautéed with onions, garlic, cumin, paprika and Aleppo pepper. The yogurt sauce is a mixture of strained thick homemade yogurt (Labni or Labneh), some Tahini (sesame paste), garlic, cumin and lemon juice.
To serve it, I mixed in some fresh mint leaves with the chickpeas. I then made stacks with the eggplant slices and the chickpeas, sandwiching some sauce in between. I finished the dishes with more sauce, a drizzle of pomegranate molasses and a sprinkling of Aleppo pepper. We ate it with pita bread, an awesome and satisfying dish.