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A lovely use of different flavors and textures in greens and legumes is featured in this easy dish based on a recipe from “Greens” - a magazine by the editors of “Vegetarian Times.” Swiss chard, with mild leaves and crunchy and slightly sweet stems, combines well with eggplant and lentils. You can also use other leafy greens such as spinach (baby or otherwise) or kale!
- 2 (15 ounce) cansof your favorite firm lentils
- 1 cup halved and thinly sliced yellow sweet onion (1 small onion)
- 2 medium Japanese eggplants, in 1/2-inch slices (I prefer the thinner-skinned Japanese variety) or 1 medium globe eggplant, halved and in 1/2-inch slices (I prefer the thinner-skinned Japanese variety)
- 6 garlic cloves, minced (2 Tbsp)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons drained capers
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika (use good quality paprika!)
- freshly ground tricolor pepper, amount to your preference (you can use black pepper if you don't have tricolor)
- 6 ounces swiss chard leaves, and stems (about 8 leaves and stems, and more to taste if desired)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 drops balsamic vinegar, to taste
- crumbled feta cheese, for garnish
- Prepare your ingredients: 1) rinse and drain the lentils, 2) halve and thinly slice the onion, 3) wash and slice the eggplant, 4) mince the garlic, 5) chop the parsley and basil, and 6) separate Swiss chard leaves from stems and chop them separately. Now you’re ready to put together the dish.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Get a 3.5 to 4 quart dutch oven and generously coat it with cooking spray or misted olive oil.
- Spread the lentils evenly over the bottom of the dutch oven, then top with the sliced onion and eggplant. Evenly top that with the minced garlic, parsley, basil, capers, and paprika. Season to your preference with salt and tricolor pepper (black is okay, too, but tricolor is better).
- In a small bowl, mix together the lemon juice and vinegars. Add a Swiss chard stem layer to the pot and sprinkle it with the vinegar mixture. Pack the chopped Swiss chard leaves as the final layer on top, then season once more with a bit of salt and pepper.
- Cover and bake in 350 degree F oven for 45 minutes. (Original recipe adds: “…or about 3 minutes after aroma wafts from oven.”).
- Garnish with a little crumbled feta, serve with rice pilaf, and enjoy!
This was wonderful! The flavors melded together so nicely. It was almost too easy to put together, and I didn't think it looked like much, but this was very very good - with feta of course. Total treasure and a keeper for me, thanks.