Sumac-Scented Eggplant and Chickpeas
The cookbook author Cathy Barrow always finds creative ways to make use of ingredients. She created this recipe as a savory pie filling for her book “Pie Squared: Irresistibly Easy Sweet & Savory Slab Pies,” but it also makes a good vegetarian supper when served over rice, and a nice side dish too. (Make it vegan by omitting the yogurt to serve.) Pomegranate molasses can be found in Middle Eastern markets and health-food stores and adds bright, tangy sweetness to this hearty dish.
- Serves: 6 persons
- ½cup olive oil
- 2pounds firm Italian eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1(28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1tablespoon ground sumac
- 2garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 2tablespoons pomegranate molasses, plus more to taste
- 1(14-ounce) can chickpeas, drained
- 4scallions, trimmed and sliced
- ½cup chopped fresh mint or cilantro
- Cooked white rice, for serving
- ½cup Greek yogurt, for serving
- Toasted pita, for serving (optional)
Step 1In a deep, wide skillet, heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium-high until shimmering. Add half the eggplant, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned all over, about 8 minutes. Transfer the eggplant to a large baking sheet to cool and repeat with the remaining olive oil and eggplant. Transfer to the baking sheet.
Step 2Add the tomatoes, sumac, garlic and 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper and simmer over medium-low until thickened, about 15 minutes.
Step 3Stir in the eggplant, chickpeas, half the scallions, half the mint and 1/4 cup water. Let simmer until flavors meld, about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more pomegranate molasses if you like. The eggplant mixture should be a little textural, chunky even, with an assertive, tangy finish.
Step 4Divide the rice and eggplant mixture among wide, shallow bowls. Dollop with yogurt, sprinkle with the remaining scallions and mint, and serve with pita, if using.