Lebanese Eggplant, Sausage, and Chickpea Stew
What vegetable is more beautiful than an eggplant? I revel in the color and beauty of all vegetables, but really, in my opinion, the eggplant is the Aphrodite of vegetables. She is the vegetable goddess of beauty–royal purple, elegant, and oh so tasty.
This Lebanese eggplant dish is supposed to be a vegetarian dish. At least that’s how it is presented in my Mediterranean cookbook. And that’s how I made it, at first. But when I tasted it, while it was delicious in its own right, I felt a little sausage would make it even better. So after the first meal of it, I cooked up a couple bratwurst, peeled them, chopped them, and tossed them in. Oh my. That was EXACTLY what it needed. I’m totally guessing on the amount of sausage to throw into the whole batch–if you want yours more meaty, throw in more. If you want a vegetarian stew, it’s lovely like that too.
This dish literally took me about 10 minutes to throw together. I didn’t make it at all like they described in the cookbook … I just tossed everything into my crock pot and let it cook all day. The smell of this dish cooking will fill your home with Mediterranean love.
I used the 7 little lavender eggplant from the picture. If only they would retain that gorgeous color when cooked! I remember it though–with every cherished bite, I remember the purple.
Lebanese Eggplant, Sausage and Chickpea Stew
- 7 baby eggplants (about 3-4 inches long), chopped
- 2/3 c. dry, uncooked chick peas
- 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 t. cinnamon
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 1/2 t. cumin
- 2/3 c. water
- 1 quart canned tomatoes, juices included
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 lb. low-fat sausage, cooked and chopped
- Cooked basmati rice (other types of rice would work too … I just really love the flavor of basmati rice and it goes SO nicely with this stew!)
- Toss all the chopped vegies, chickpeas, water, and spices into the crockpot. With the tomatoes, squeeze them in your hand as you add them to break them up–or whir them briefly in a food processor for a minute before adding. Stir briefly to mix everything
- Turn the crockpot on low and let it cook for a good 8 hours or until the chick peas are tender. Remove the bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook up the rice. Brown the sausage or if it’s sausage links, boil it in water, then chop and add hot to the stew.
- Serve the steaming hot flavorful stew over the hot rice with cilantro or parsley for garnish.
Adapted from the cookbook: Mediterranean, a taste of the sun in over 150 recipes, by Jacqueline Clark and Joanna Farrow
This recipe was submitted to Cast Party Wednesday.