Sunday, November 4, 2018

Ottolenghi's Puy Lentil and Eggplant Stew (Topped with Yogurt & Fresh Oregano) for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Upon spying the new Ottolenghi Simple cookbook on my library's shelves I immediately grabbed it and was the first to check it out--always a treat. I know that I will end up buying a copy of my own (it's Yotam Ottolenghi after all), but it's always fun to try out a cookbook first. 

This book is full of Ottolenghi recipes that are a bit more "streamlined" and recipes are coded by letters that identify short on time, 10 ingredients or less, make ahead, pantry, lazy, and easier than you think--making this book perfect to grab when you don't know what to cook but still want the signature flavor combinations of this fantastic chef. I wrote down a ton of recipes I want to make including Scrambled Harissa Tofu, Avocado Butter on Toast with Tomato Salsa, Pea, Za'atar and Feta Fritters, Zucchini, Thyme and Walnut Salad, Burrata with Grilled Grapes and Basil, Hit Charred Cherry Tomatoes with Charred Yogurt, Curried Egg and Cauliflower Salad, Spinach and Gorgonzola Stuffed Baked Potatoes, Orzo with Shrimp, Tomato and Marinated Feta, Fish Cake Tacos with Mango, Lime, and Cumin Yogurt, Trout Tartare with Brown Butter and Pistachios, Sumac Roasted Strawberries with Yogurt Cream, and Honey and Yogurt Set Cheesecake--just to name a few. ;-) 

The Puy Lentil and Eggplant Stew seemed a great way to use up the last of a bag of the small green lentils.I made a few changes based on what I had on hand or could readily get and my changes are in red below.

Ottolenghi says "Serve the stew either as a hearty starter or a side, or else as a main, served with any grain you like. The stew can be made up to three days ahead and kept in the fridge--just warm through and add the creme fraiche, oil, chile flakes, and oregano before serving."

Puy Lentil and Eggplant Stew
Slightly Adapted from Ottolenghi Simple
(Serves 4 as a Starter)

3 Tbsp olive oil, plus extra to serve
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (I used 4 cloves)
1 large red onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 1/2 tsp thyme leaves
2 small eggplants cut into chunks about 2 3/4-inches (6 cups) (I used Japanese eggplant)
7 oz cherry tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes)
black pepper
3/4 cup + 2 Tbps puy lentils (I used 1 heaping cup)
2 cups vegetable stock (I used 4 cups)
1/3 cup dry white wine (I used 1/2 cup)
1 3/4 cups water (I used 2 cups)
6 Tbsp creme fraiche (I used kefir labne--thickened yogurt)
1 tsp Urfa chile flakes or or 1/2 tsp other red pepper flakes (I used Aleppo pepper)
2 Tsp oregano leaves

Put 2 Tbsp of oil into a large high-side pan or soup pot and place over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion, thyme, and 1/4 tsp salt and fry for 8 minutes, stirring often, until soft and golden. Tip into a bowl, leaving the oil behind. Set aside.

Place the eggplant and tomatoes in a bowl and season with 1/4 tsp salt and plenty of pepper. Add the remaining 1 Tbsp of oil to the same pan (don't worry about wiping it clean) and, once very hot, add the eggplant and tomatoes are beginning to blacken. Return the garlic and onion to the pan, then add the lentils, stock, wine, water, and 3/4 tsp salt. Bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to medium and simmer gently for about 40 minutes, until the lentils are soft but still retain a bite.

Serve warm or at room temperature, with dollops of creme fraiche, a drizzle of oil, and chile flakes and oregano on top.

Notes/Results: A simple stew with a great combination of flavors and textures. The slightly toothsome lentils combined with the silky eggplant and sweet bursts of little tomatoes, the herbal notes from the thyme and fresh oregano and tangy yogurt, along with the heat from the Aleppo pepper all work together. There are a couple of steps but you use the same pan and it goes together easily. I served it with rice for a light meal. I'm looking forward to the leftovers in my lunches this week and I will happily make it again. 

Linking up this Ottolenghi stew to I Heart Cooking Clubs where it is Potluck week--our chance to make any recipe from any of our IHCC chefs. 

Now, lets take a look into the Souper Sundays kitchen:

It's always a pleasure to have Beth Fish Reads at Souper Sundays and this week she's sharing this Apple Walnut, Cranberry & Brown Rice Salad saying, "I made the following salad as a side dish for dinner one night and then it served as our lunch the next day. This was delicious and so perfect for fall. I plan to make this one all winter. I used dark balsamic vinegar (sue me!) and didn't chop the craisins. Though I did use black sesame seeds. Van Boven suggests you make the salad about an hour before serving so the flavors meld, but we ate it pretty much right away. This would make a fabulous buffet dish and would be easy to transport if you're asked to bring a side dish to a holiday pot luck."

Shaheen  of Allotment2Kitchen is here with a Vegetarian Philly Cheesesteak saying, "Yes this is a vegetarian food blog and what I share below may look freakishly like 'meat', but I assure you these are homemade seitan slices peaking out of this Philly Cheese 'Steak' or cheesesteak. I was looking for ways to use up my rather large batch of homemade seitan and it was whilst flicking  Mama Cherry's Soul Food in a Bowl that I stumbled upon a meat version."

At Kahakai Kitchen I had two sandwich dishes to share this week, both inspired by books. First is the DS Special, my vegetarian recreation of a sandwich made by best friends in their Delancey Street apartment is an unusual but delicious combination of chicken, lettuce, blue cheese, cranyberry and mayo. I made my version with vegan chicken meat and really enjoyed the combination of flavors.

Next I made a soup and sandwich combo and a new favorite toast--open-faced Cheese Toast with Smashed Soft-Boiled Egg on top. It was perfect as an easy dinner with doctored-up deli-bought Clam Chowder. So good!

Mahalo to all who joined in this week!
About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays (going since 2008) now has a format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches at any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

 To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:
  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up her in order to be included in the weekly round-up.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to it on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (optional).

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. Looks warm and comforting and we are certainly into soup weather here. :( The weather will give me a good excuse to try this recipe.

  2. I'm always happy when I have a recipe that fits Souper Sunday. I have to check out the other recipes.

  3. HI Deb! I made it in to the linkup last minute, learning to use a hotspot at home so I'm not so late to events.


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