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Eggplant Ragoût with Tomatoes, Peppers & Chickpeas

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Serves 4-6

Broiling the eggplant first helps it keep its shape in the stew.

  • 1-1/2 lb. eggplant, preferably plump round fruits
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil; more for brushing the eggplant
  • 1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 large bell pepper, red or yellow, cored, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 plump cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • Generous pinch cayenne
  • 2 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1-1/4 cups water
  • 5 plum tomatoes, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and seeded
  • 15-oz. can chickpeas (preferably organic), rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp. salt; more to taste
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat the broiler. Cut the eggplant crosswise into 3/4-inch rounds and brush both sides with olive oil. Broil until light gold on each side, about 2 min. per side. Let cool and cut into 1-inch pieces. In a medium Dutch oven, heat the 2 Tbs. olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper; sauté until the onion is lightly browned, 12 to 15 min. During the last few minutes of browning, add the garlic, paprika, cumin, and cayenne. Stir in the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 min. Stir in 1/4 cup of the water and boil, using a wooden spoon to scrape up the juices from the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes, eggplant, chickpeas, remaining 1 cup water and salt. Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, until the vegetables are quite tender, about 25 min., stirring once or twice. Stir in the parsley, adjust the seasonings, and serve.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 220; Fat (g): 8; Fat Calories (kcal): 70; Saturated Fat (g): 1; Protein (g): 6; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5; Carbohydrates (g): 32; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 550; Cholesterol (mg): 0; Fiber (g): 8;

Photo: Scott Phillips

I had this dish recently in a restaurant and wanted to make it at home so I was surprized when this receipt was more flavourful. I had my extended family over and everyone finished it off as an appetizer with pita bread cut into quarters. It was a hit. My mother is vegetarian and hard to please. Very happy everyone enjoyed this dish and I would recommend it to anyone.

I am not a vegetarian or vegan, and I can say that this receipe is amazing. If I could eat like this every night I would be a vegetarian. The flavor profile from these ingredients was incredible. My family will be eating this for many years to come!

I love this ragout; I've made it a few times this summer using garden-fresh eggplant. It's also delicious with a pinch of saffron and smoked paprika.

This recipe is a great way to use summer eggplant. It is flavorful and satisfying. Our whole family enjoyed it. I would highly recommend it. We used farm fresh plum tomatoes and felt that the quality of the tomatoes was important.

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