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Eggplant Lentil Stew with Pomegranate Molasses

Serves 6


INGREDIENTS
• One 1 1/2-pound eggplant (or enough eggplants for 1 1/2 pounds)
• 1/2 cup French Green Lentils
• Water
• 2/3 cup Planeta Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
• 1 medium onion, finely chopped
• 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
• Mutti Italian Chopped Tomatoes
• 2 Dried New Mexico Chiles stemmed, seeded and coarsely chopped
• 2 Tbsp chopped mint leaves
• 1 tablespoon Double Concentrated Tomato Paste
• 1/4 teaspoon crushed Dried Japones Chile Peppers
• 1/4 cup Pomegranate Molasses
• 2 teaspoons Trapani Sea Salt

METHOD
1 Partially peel the eggplant so it has lengthwise stripes, then cut it lengthwise into 4 slices. Score each slice on 1 side in a crosshatch pattern. Cut each slice crosswise into 3 pieces and set on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with Trapani Sea Salt. Let stand for 1 hour.
2 In a small saucepan, cover the French Green Lentils with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the lentils.
3 Coat a small (3-quart) enameled cast-iron casserole with 1 tablespoon of the Planeta Olive oil. In a bowl, toss the onion with the garlic, tomatoes, New Mexico Chiles, mint, Double Concentrated Tomato Paste, crushed Dried Japones Chile Peppers and 2 teaspoons of Trapani Sea Salt.

4 Rinse the eggplant and pat dry. Spread 1/2 cup of the vegetable mixture in the casserole and top with half of the eggplant. Cover with half of the lentils and half of the remaining vegetable mixture. Top with the remaining eggplant,French Green Lentils and vegetables. Pour the remaining Planeta Olive Oil around the side and over the vegetables, then drizzle with the Pomegranate Molasses.

5 Bring the stew to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the eggplant is very tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Recipe adapted from and photo courtesy of www.simplyrecipes.com

Products suggested for this recipe:

French Green Lentils 12 oz
French green lentils are reputed to be the world's best.
From $2.75


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Dried New Mexico Chiles
Thin earthy flavor that is ideal for sauces.
From $2.55


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Dried Japones Chile Peppers
A medium hot pepper to be used with your asian recipes.
From $1.45


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EVO Planeta from Sicily 500 ml
This oil has a wonderful green color and a fresh bouquet of herbs, citrus fruit, artichokes and tomatoes.
From $34.85


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Italian Double Concentrate Tomato Paste
Thick, rich tomato flavor concentrated in just a teaspoon.
From $3.75


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