Puy Lentils with Eggplant, Tomatoes, and Yogurt | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

Puy Lentils with Eggplant, Tomatoes, and Yogurt

Puy Lentils with Eggplant, Tomatoes, and Yogurt

Puy Lentils with Eggplant, Tomatoes, and Yogurt (Photography by Jonathan Lovekin)

Serves four as a starter or side or two as a main

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For the sake of ease, I’ve roasted the eggplant here in a hot oven. If you want to really get a smoky taste into the flesh of the eggplant, though, it’s best to put it directly on the open flame on your stove. I line my stove top with foil when doing this (making holes for the flames to come through), then use long tongs to help turn the eggplant so that all sides get burnt. This method can be a bit messy, but the upside is that it takes just 15–20 minutes, rather than 1 hour, and the resulting smoky taste is more intense.

This can be made up to 3 days in advance, up to the point of the yogurt being added. Keep in the fridge until needed.

Ingredients

4 eggplants, pricked a few times with a knife (2 lb 6 oz/1.1kg)

10 oz/300g cherry tomatoes

¾ cup/160g Puy lentils (or 4 2/3 cups/350g ready-cooked lentils, if you want to save time)

2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to serve

1½ tbsp lemon juice

1 small garlic clove, crushed

3 tbsp oregano leaves

salt and black pepper

6 tbsp/100g Greek-style yogurt

Steps

1. Preheat the oven to 475°F or as high as your oven will go.

2. Place the eggplants on a baking sheet and roast for 1 hour, turning them over halfway through, until the flesh is completely soft and slightly smoky. Remove from the oven and, once cool enough handle, scoop the flesh out into a colander. Set aside, in the sink or over a bowl, for 30 minutes, for any liquid to drain away. The skin can be discarded.

3. Place the cherry tomatoes on the same baking sheet and roast for 12 minutes, until slightly blackened, split, and soft. Remove from the oven and set aside.

4. Meanwhile, if starting with uncooked lentils, fill a medium saucepan with plenty of water and place over high heat. Once boiling, add the lentils, decrease the heat to medium, and cook for 20 minutes, until soft but still retaining a bite. Drain, then set aside to dry out slightly. If starting with ready-cooked lentils, just tip them into a large bowl and add the eggplant flesh, tomatoes, oil, lemon juice, garlic, 2 tbsp of oregano, ¾ tsp salt, and a good grind of pepper. Mix well, then spoon into a large shallow bowl. Top with the yogurt, swirling it through slightly so there are obvious streaks. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tbsp of oregano over the top, drizzle with a little oil, and serve.


Extracted from Ottolenghi Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi (Ebury Press) Photography by Jonathan Lovekin

Find more recipes from Yotam Ottolenghi here.

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