Eggplant & Chickpea Stew
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Combine dried mushrooms and hot water in a bowl. Stir well and let stand for 30 minutes. Strain through a sieve lined with a paper towel and set the liquid aside. Finely chop the mushrooms.Advertisement
Meanwhile, peel eggplants, if desired, and cut in half lengthwise. Brush the cut sides liberally with 2 tablespoons oil. Place on a rimmed baking sheet, cut-side down, and roast until tender, about 25 minutes. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Cut into 1-inch cubes and transfer to a 4-quart (or larger) slow cooker (see Tip).
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 3 to 6 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, cinnamon stick, salt, pepper, bay leaf and the chopped mushrooms; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the reserved mushroom-soaking liquid and chickpeas. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker and stir to combine with the eggplant.
Cover and cook until the chickpeas are very tender, about 4 hours on High or 7 to 8 hours on Low. Remove cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Stir in tomatoes and parsley.
Tips: To quick-soak chickpeas (or other dried beans), place in a large saucepan with enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour.
For easy cleanup, try a slow-cooker liner. These heat-resistant, disposable liners fit neatly inside the insert and help prevent food from sticking to the bottom and sides of your slow cooker.
To make ahead: Prepare through Step 4 and refrigerate (in a container other than the slow cooker insert) for up to 2 days. To finish, transfer to the slow cooker and continue with Step 5. The cooked stew can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Equipment: 4-quart or larger slow cooker
Variation: Use leftover stew to make Eggplant & Chickpea Baked Pasta. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Combine ½ cup whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small bowl. Combine 8 ounces cooked whole-wheat fusilli, 3 cups stew, 1 cup crumbled feta cheese, ½ cup chopped fresh mint (or basil) and 2 tablespoons lemon juice in a large bowl. Spread mixture in prepared baking dish. Top with breadcrumb mixture. Bake until topping is golden and crispy, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with ¼ cup chopped fresh mint (or basil). Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 496 cal; 17 g fat (7 g sat, 7 g mono); 33 mg chol; 71 g carb; 0 g added sugars; 21 g protein; 13 g fiber; 686 mg sodium; 612 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Iron (33% daily value), Folate (30% dv), Calcium (28% dv), Vitamin C (26% dv), Magnesium (25% dv), Zinc (22% dv), Potassium (17% dv), Vitamin A (16% dv). 4 1/2 Carb Servings. Exchanges: 4 starch, 2 fat, 1 high-fat protein, 1 vegetable.
1 fat, 1 lean protein, 1 starch, 1 vegetable