By Chef Ella Murphy
- FOR THE SQUASH
- 2 medium or 4 small eggplants
- 1 cup green lentils
- 2 cups water
- 2 small red bell peppers
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp rice-wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp spice blend, a mix of harissa,
turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, and allspice
1⁄4 cup + 2 tbsp chopped cilantro, divided
- 1⁄2 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Flamingo Estate Olive Oil
- FOR THE SAUCE
- 1⁄4 cup basil
- 1⁄4 cup cilantro
- 1⁄4 cup mint
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1⁄4 cup Flamingo Estate Olive Oil
For the sauce, place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth.
Preheat oven to 425°F. For smaller eggplants, hollow out an oval shape running the length of the eggplant. Making sure to leave enough flesh for the eggplant to remain sturdy after cooking, about 1⁄2 inch. For larger eggplants, cut in half lengthwise before hollowing out the length of the eggplant.
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add green lentils and 1⁄2 tsp salt. Reduce to a simmer and cover, cooking for 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Strain any excess liquid.
- Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp olive oil.
Once the oil is rippling, season the eggplants with salt and place in the pan cut-side down. Cook for 5 minutes, then turn the eggplant over and cook another 5 minutes. At this point the eggplant should be tender and still hold its shape.
Meanwhile, place the bell pepper, tomato paste, vinegar, spice blend, and 1⁄4 cup cilantro in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 15-20 times until the mixture becomes a textured paste.
Once the lentils have cooked, add the pepper mixture and stir to evenly combine. Season with salt, if needed. Evenly divide this mixture among the eggplants.
In a separate bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, and remaining cilantro with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Mix to evenly coat the breadcrumbs in oil. Sprinkle the mixture over the stuffed eggplants and place in the oven. Cook for 20 minutes or until the breadcrumbs have browned and the eggplants have completely softened.
- Serve drizzled with sauce.