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Freekeh Medley Stuffed Eggplant

Serves 4

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    Freekeh Medley Stuffed Eggplant

    This stuffed eggplant is built upon layers of Middle Eastern flavours: smoky freekeh, tender chickpeas, and a herbal tahini sauce. The quick-pickled raisins add a sweet vinegary pop. 

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    Sweat it out

    Salting eggplant before cooking enhances the flavour by allowing eggplant to sweat out its bitterness and breaking its spongy texture.

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    Freekeh Medley Stuffed Eggplant

      Ingredients

      • 1/2 cup (125 mL) golden raisins
      • 3 Tbsp (45 mL) red wine vinegar
      • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt, divided
      • 2 small eggplants, cut in half lengthwise
      • 4 tsp (20 mL) grapeseed oil or avocado oil, divided
      • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
      • 3 garlic cloves, minced
      • 2 cups (500 mL) low-sodium vegetable broth or water
      • 3/4 cup (180 mL) cracked freekeh or farro, uncooked
      • 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) cooked or canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
      • 1 medium carrot, shredded
      • 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped unsalted pistachios
      • 1/4 cup (60 mL) tahini
      • 1/4 cup (60 mL) tahini
      • Juice of 1/2 lemon
      • 2 tsp (10 mL) za’atar
      • 1/3 cup (80 mL) chopped fresh parsley

      Nutrition

      Per serving:

      • calories527
      • protein18 g
      • total fat19 g
        • sat. fat2 g
      • total carbohydrates82 g
        • sugars25 g
      • fibre23 g
      • sodium575 mg

      Directions

      01

      In small bowl, combine raisins with red wine vinegar, 2 Tbsp (30 mL) warm water, and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt. Set aside for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain.

      02

      Cut eggplant in half lengthwise. Season flesh with salt and set aside for 20 to 30 minutes to allow eggplant to “sweat.” Pat dry with paper towel.

      03

      Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C), and line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Place eggplant halves, flesh side up, onto baking sheet, and brush with 2 tsp (10 mL) oil. Roast until tender and the browned flesh is easily pierced with paring knife, about 35 minutes. You want the flesh to be silky and not spongy.

      04

      In medium-sized saucepan over medium, heat 2 tsp (10 mL) oil. Add onion and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt; heat until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add two-thirds of the garlic and heat for 1 minute. Place broth or water and freekeh in pan, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, covered, until freekeh is tender and broth has been absorbed, about 20 minutes. Set aside, covered, for 5 minutes and then fluff with fork. Add chickpeas, drained pickled raisins, carrot, and pistachios to pot and stir everything together.

      05

      In small bowl, whisk together tahini, lemon juice, remaining minced garlic, and za’atar. Whisk in water, 1 Tbsp (15 mL) at a time, until thin consistency is reached.

      06

      Arrange roasted eggplant on serving platter, flesh side up. With the back of a spoon, push the flesh down to create a cavity. Spoon in freekeh filling. Drizzle on tahini dressing and scatter on parsley.

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