smoked eggplant shakshuka

Lentil & Smoked Eggplant Shakshuka

Serves 4

Shakshuka might be one of the greatest breakfast dishes of all time, but it makes a pretty mean dinner too, especially with the¬†addition of lentils. Typically a poached egg dish, this wildly delicious version doesn’t need eggs at all. Smoky, creamy and spicy, this will have you licking your lips and soaking up every last drop. I really don’t have much else to say. It’s easy and relatively quick, but will impress anyone you put it in front of. If you’re looking for brunch ideas to serve to your guests, or an easy dinner that tastes like it was way more effort, look no further.

Make this and eat it. That is all.

Ingredients

1/2 cup dried whole red lentils

5 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 red capsicums, julienned or finely chopped (0.5cm or so)

2 tbsp harissa paste

1 1/2 to 2tsp ground cumin, to taste

800g tinned diced tomatoes

2tbsp tomato paste

2 eggplants, approx 800g

3 tbsp tahini (45ml)

2-3tbsp lemon juice, to taste

Salt and black pepper

Olive oil

A few tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Method

1. Place the lentils in a saucepan and cover with a few inches of water. Bring to the boil and cook until the lentils are just tender, but still firm to the bite. Drain, rinse, set aside.

2. Meanwhile, place the eggplants directly onto the gas burner, turning every couple of minutes, until the skin is fully burnt and blackened and and the eggplants collapse in on themselves. Set aside on a plate until cool enough to handle.

3. Heat approx 2tbsp olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the capsicum and cook, stirring often, until softened. Add the garlic and harissa, and cook a few minutes until the garlic has softened. Add the cumin and stir a minute more. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste and one teaspoon of sea salt, stir well and bring to a simmer.

4. Stir in the lentils and let it all simmer away for approximately 20 minutes, stirring often. You may need to add a little water along the way if it gets too dry, you want a thick, juicy sauce consistency. Check the seasoning and reduce heat to very low to keep warm.

5. Meanwhile, cut the eggplants in half and scrape the flesh out into a bowl. Try not to get more than a few flecks of skin in the bowl. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and stir it up with a fork. Spoon it into the middle of the tomato mixture, and give a quick, gentle stir to spread it out a little. Don’t mix it too much, you don’t want to completely blend it all together. Let it heat through a couple of minutes without stirring.

6. Meanwhile, put the tahini in a bowl and mix in the lemon juice. Add water 1 tbsp at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition, until you have a smooth, creamy sauce the consistency of pouring cream. You won’t need more than 3tbsp. Season with salt to taste. Remove the pan from the heat, and drizzle with half the tahini sauce. Sprinkle with the parsley. Serve immediately in the pan with bread and the remaining tahini sauce on the side.

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