As my vegetarian mentor and fellow red fox, my friend Cindie knows what’s up. We share a love of holidays, televised glee club performances and the occasional glass of pinot. Oh, and did I mention she can cook? This weeks recipe is courtesy of Miss C herself. A fragrant blend of spices doctors up a simple combination of vegetables, beans and rice (or couscous!) This recipe is decidedly Moroccan, thanks to the warm flavors of cinnamon, cumin and chili powder. I’m really groovin’ on cinnamon lately – it’s an unexpected ingredient to everything from vegetables to grains to yogurt.
1 T. olive oil
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 c. vegetable stock
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: cooked brown rice or whole wheat couscous
Sprinkle chopped eggplant with salt and let drain in a colander for 1 hour. Rinse well under water and dry between paper towels. (You can omit this step if the eggplant seems very firm and fresh – salting will eliminate the occasional bitterness you find in eggplant).
In a large skillet or a saucepan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, chili powder, cumin and cinnamon. Stir well to coat evenly. Cook until the onions have softened (approx. 4-5 minutes).
Add the eggplant, tomatoes and chickpeas, along with the stock. Simmer over medium-low heat, covered, for fifteen-twenty minutes (until the eggplant is tender). While this is cooking, prepare your rice or couscous according to the package directions.
Uncover and stir. If the stew looks very soup-y, let the liquid bubble away for a few more minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over rice or couscous.
Optional: Garnish with chopped parsley or cilantro.
This recipe serves 3-4 people and tastes even better the next day as the flavors meld together.
Cook whole wheat couscous according to package directions, substituting vegetable broth for water. Fold in a pinch of cinnamon, cumin and chili powder. Just before serving, add a handful of raisins (try the golden variety), toasted pine nuts (or almonds) and chopped parsley. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.