Hearty lemon-garlic Lentils with Roasted Eggplant and Tomatoes is nourishing and so simple to make. Share this Mediterranean eggplant recipe with naan or a slab of crusty sourdough, and a dollop of Greek yogurt or coconut cream! This recipe is vegetarian + vegan + gluten free.
My kitchen journey is forever inspired by those that have gone before me, chefs, bloggers and of course from friends and family. This Mediterranean lentils recipe is inspired from Ottolenghi Simple but the recipe itself torn from the pages of my husband’s much loved weekly magazine, The Week, where it’s reprinted.
Rob recently discovered eggplant and was quite ardent that I give this Mediterranean eggplant recipe a go. He, who rarely gets excited about food. I was thrilled. I’m a fan of Ottolenghi and cook from his book Plenty, but I was unaware of another I’d need to add to my cookbook collection.
Mediterranean Lentils As a Main
While I followed the original recipe as a guide, I tweaked the lentil cooking method, added a few flavor builders, increasing the garlic and lemon of course, and scaled the recipe so that it’s a main for four rather than a side.
Lentils are filling enough, but with the abundace of eggplant and tomatoes in this Mediterranean eggplant recipe, it easily becomes a hearty main. Especially when shared with yogurt or coconut cream and crusty sourdough or a round of naan or pita.
Ingredients for Mediterranean Lentils with Roasted Eggplant and Tomatoes
Simple ingredients produce the most delicious flavors when paired with roasted veggies. Here’s what you’ll need for this Mediterranean eggplant recipe:
- Cherry Tomatoes
- French or Puy Lentils
- Olive Oil
- Dried Oregano
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Greek Yogurt or Coconut Creme
- Salt and Pepper
How to Make this Mediterranean Eggplant Recipe
While it does take just over an hour to pull this recipe together, most of the time to prepare it is hands off. Here’s how to make it:
- First, use a fork to poke the eggplants about eight times each. This allows steam to escape these beauties while roasting. Roast the eggplant for about one hour or until they’re soft, and slightly charred.
- Meanwhile, put the lentils on to cook with a bayleaf. Chop the garlic, parsley and gather the seasonings.
- Third, when the eggplant are almost done, place the tomatoes in the oven for roasting.
- Next, once the eggplant and tomatoes are done roasting, remove from oven. Cut the eggplant open and allow to cool a bit. Scrape out the flesh.
- Last, add the eggplant flesh, roasted tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to the pan with the lentils. Rewarm on low as needed.
Share with another squeeze of lemon, parsley, yogurt or coconut cream and naan or sourdough.
A Few Recipe Notes
- Freezer friendly? Yes please! Freeze this Mediterranean lentil recipe for up to two weeks. Thaw in fridge overnight and rewarm with a splash of water on stovetop.
- Puy lentils or French lentils? They’re the same variety of lentils, so you can use them interchangeably in this recipe. The difference is Puy are grown in the Puy region of France, while French lentils are grown in North America and Italy.
- Look for French lentils in the bulk bins, or also, Bob’s Red Mill sources them.
- No need to drain the lentils after cooking. Their cooking juices assist in making this recipe saucy and blend effortlessly with the moisture from the eggplant, lemon and olive oil.
- Be sure to prick the eggplant all around before roasting, otherwise it’s possible they’ll bust open and create a mess in your oven.
- Vegan friendly? Yes please! Share with coconut cream instead of yogurt just prior to serving.
More Eggplant Recipes to Love
- Italian Pressed Sandwich
- Smoky Roasted Eggplant Hummus
- Skillet Eggplant Lasagna by Kitchen Confidante
- Roasted Eggplant-Artichoke White Bean Dip
- Eggplant Pomodoro Pasta by Foolproof Living
- Thai Red Curry with Eggplant and Sweet Peppers
- Grilled Eggplant with Goat Cheese Polenta by Floating Kitchen
Mediterranean Lentils with Roasted Eggplant and Tomatoes
- 4 lbs (1.4kg) Globe Eggplants about 4 medium eggplants
- 1 C (175g) French Lentils or Puy
- 3 1/4 C (765g) Water
- 20 oz (540g) Cherry Tomatos about two pints
- 1 Bayleaf
- 2 Tbs Olive Oil extra virgin + more for drizzling if desired
- 2 1/2 Tbs Fresh Lemon Juice about 1/2 a lemon + more for serving
- 3 Plump Cloves of Garlic crushed and minced
- 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
- 1/4 + 1/8 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 3/4 - 1 tsp Fine Sea Salt
- 3 Tbs Fresh Chopped Parsley
- 1/2 C (155g) Greek Yogurt or coconut cream for serving
- Fresh Ground Pepper
- Preheat oven to 475F (248C). Arrange an oven racks to the second highest setting and another just below it. Using the tines of a fork, prick each eggplant about eight times each all around. Set the eggplants on an unlined sheet pan and roast on the highest rack for about one hour or until the eggplants are soft and slightly chard. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile arrange the cherry tomatoes on a parchment lined sheet pan. During the last 12-13 minutes of eggplant roasting, place the tomatoes on the lower oven rack and roast until the tomatoes are burst and slightly charred. About 13 minutes.
- While the eggplants are roasting, add the lentils to a medium sauce pot. Pour in the water and add a bayleaf with a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil then turn the heat to low, simmering for about 25-30 minutes. The lentils should be tender, not mushy, and there should be a few tablespoons of liquid left. Remove the bayleaf, lid, remove from heat and set aside.
- Once cool enough to handle, slice the eggplants open and scrape out the flesh. Spoon the flesh and any roasting juices into the pot of lentils along with the roasted tomatoes and all their juices. To the pot of lentils and veggies add the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, oregano, pepper flakes, sea salt and parsley. Stir. Heat on low for just a few minutes to warm through. Add a few twists of fresh ground pepper. Stir and taste for salt adjustment.
- Spoon into serving bowls and share with yogurt or coconut cream, ground pepper, fresh parsley and lemon wedges on the side.
- Store in lidded containers in the refrigerator for up to three days, or in the freezer for up to two weeks. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and gently rewarm on the stovetop.