Monday, November 12, 2007


Barbecue-style lentils with eggplant (recipe in the comments)
Mixed greens with fresh garlic dressing

Shortbread dipped in dark chocolate
This is an unusual combination of flavors. We love eggplant, and it's a favorite of Ts, so this ranks highly as a unique way to use it. We often have this without rice, but serving a grain (white or brown rice, pasta of some sort, polenta) stretches the meal a bit further. With rice this serves two with a meal for T and a lunch for one of us adults. You can use canned lentils (which I didn't know were made until I saw this recipe, but it works equally well with 1 cup dry brown lentils cooked in 3 cups of water (add lentils and remaining liquid).

Prep Notes
Difficulty: Moderate
Chopping: Eggplant cubed, onion sliced, tomato cubed, oregano and parsley chopped
Time: 50 minutes
Make ahead: It saves ok, but is best fresh.

J: "I didn't know you could barbecue lentils."
M: "Yee Haw."


J said...

Barbecue Lentils with Eggplant – The Whole Foods Market Cookbook
Serves 2-4

2 T olive oil
1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into 1” cubes
1 red onion, cut in half and sliced
1 large tomato, cored and cut into 1” cubes
1.5 T fresh oregano, stemmed
5 cloves garlic, minced
½ t pepper
1 T tamari
½ cup barbecue sauce
1 T lemon juice
1 T honey
1 can cooked lentils, undrained
¼ cup parsley, coarsely chopped
Salt , to taste

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and cook the eggplant for 10 minutes (sprinkle with a bit of water if the pan dries out). Add onion, tomato, oregano, garlic, and pepper. Sauté for an additional 5 minutes.

Stir in the tamari. Add the barbecue sauce, lemon, and honey, stirring well to coat the vegetables. Add the undrained lentils and simmer uncovered for about 15 more minutes. Add the parsley and salt to taste.

Flynn said...

Dear Chef J,

Please explain to me the difference between mincing, chopping and other cutting terminology and I, the unwashed mass, do not understand.

Gastronomically-Challenged in Gaza

J said...

I may be vilified for saying this, but I think most of these descriptions are at least somewhat subjective. Gasp!

Here's the basic universal: Chopping > dicing > mincing. In most cases cubing is the largest type of cut, but I have found that when something is to be cubed it usually gives a measure (i.e. 1" cubes). I tend to think that when you chop something the finished product should be a 1/2" square; a dice is 1 cm square; and a mince is little, itty, bitty pieces.

In practice I think about the size I usually cut certain foods for these measures: onions are typically chopped, zucchini or bell pepper is typically diced, and garlic is minced.

I should say that these are not the technical definitions (for which a more professional chef than I should be consulted), but they tend to work.

Good luck, unwashed mass :)