Lentil salad with eggplant

I need a little peace and quiet“, I said  to my daughter  as I drove the 30 kilometers into the Chouf mountains and the village of Deir el Qamar. Enough of the high voltage  hustle and bustle of Beirut. Enough of traffic and cars and noise 24/7.

I am not a fan of team sports; it did not matter. I still HAD to listen to the entire basketball game retransmitted with loudspeakers and a live commentator from the village into all residents, myself included;  its happy conclusion (Lebanon BEAT Canada 81/71) was expressed with thundering fireworks into the night.

So much for a little R&R (rest and relaxation).

What about these lentils? Lentils are God‘s perfect food. No wonder Jacob traded his inheritance for a plate of lentils  (check the Book of Genesis).

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup of brown lentils
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • olive oil, as needed
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • a few tablespoons of parsley, leaves chopped
  • a couple of cloves of garlic, mashed
  • dash of cumin, dried coriander, salt, pepper
  • one eggplant, slices salted and drained and fried in olive oil (optional)
  • a teaspoon of red pepper paste (optional)
  • pomegranate seeds for garnish (optional)

METHOD:

  1. Heat some water in a saucepan (about 4 cups); as soon as the water steams, add the lentils; you need to have at least 2 inches of water above the lentils. Simmer the lentils gently, skimming the surface from time to time until they are tender to the bite, about 30 minutes. Ideally, they should have absorbed all the water. If a lot of water is left, drain them. Add a jiggle of olive oil to the lentils, blend and set aside.
  2. Heat some olive oil in a skillet; add the eggplant slices and fry on both sides till soft, about 30 minutes total. Drain on paper towels.
  3. Add to the lentils all the fresh vegetables: chopped onion, diced tomatoes, chopped peppers, parsley, spices (cumin, salt, pepper), garlic,  blend well. Serve on a platter with the eggplant slices  forming a ring around the lentil salad.

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59 Comments

  1. Posted September 2, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Perfect combination of lentils with Eastern touch. Lentils are popular in Poland, too, but we use local spices and herbs :)

  2. Posted September 2, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Two of my favorite things…lentils and eggplant. Love the touch of the pomengranate seeds.

  3. Posted September 2, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    I love this salad! amazing combination with the eggplant.

  4. Posted September 3, 2010 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Lentil salad with aubergine? got to try it!

  5. Posted September 18, 2010 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    really enjoying your posts… I was in india on break so catching up. superb salad.

  6. Posted November 13, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Rien de plus délicieux, lentilles et aubergines, merci pour toutes ces bonnes idées :)

  7. Posted July 23, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    This looks so, so good – decided to make it tonight (at least a version w/the ingredients I have on hand). Great idea. Put the pan (lentils) on high to bring to a boil before I lowered the heat – got involved w/cutting veggies for a main dish and – of course – forgot about the lentils.

    They never made it to a simmer! So, I seasoned them up (have a good amt of sumac here, fortunately) & we’ll eat the mush as is, lol.

    Oh well – my son reminded me that when they (he & his siblings) were little they looked forward to my ‘mistakes.’ as they sometimes became favorites, hahaha.

  8. Joumana
    Posted July 23, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    @Lynne: That was sweet of your son! Lentils become a mush in mujaddara, so you are not far off!

  9. Posted August 13, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    @Joumana – Yes, he really loved this! Everytime he had a bowl he told me that it was his favorite! But today, I (finally!) made this the right way – no eggplant, though. It’s my favorite vegetable, but I don’t have any in the house right now. Delicious without it (but I hope to get some to add to it). Also – I checked out your recipe for mujaddara, and I’ll be trying that, as soon as I get some freekah!

    What I love about these recipes is that they are so healthy, too. I’ve lost a lot of weight, but still need to lose a good deal more. Foods like this are so filling, and so good for us – thanks so much for your site with so many delicious recipes!

One Trackback

  1. By food blog round up august | Fuss Free Flavours on September 7, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    [...] completely with Joumana that lentils are God’s perfect food and will be trying her lentil and aubergine salad soon.   Delicious, healthy and satisfying which will be perfect for my post France health [...]

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