Lentil soup was a favorite of mine growing up. It seemed like my Yia Yia (Greek word for grandmother) always had a pot simmering on the stove when I was at her house. Last night I decided to make another version of lentils. I found a recipe for garden pilaf in So Easy by Ellie Krieger. She recommended making it with chicken and grape skewers, so I figured a salad with granny smith apples comes close to that type of flavor. In order to make a hearty meal out of it all, I added zucchini and eggplant stacks.
garden lentil pilaf ingredients
above: fresh parsley, mint and basil
right: spinach, tomatoes, shallots
Before the big stir
Salad swap: I used mixed greens instead of spinach
tart and tangy
The zucchini and eggplant stacks are adapted from a recipe out of Fresh and Fast Vegan by Amanda Grant. I couldn’t resist a new cookbook on a recent trip to Reading Terminal. It’s all veggie and very easy. This is my first dish from it. The original recipe is called Warm Tomato and Eggplant Stacks, but I couldn’t find any bright red, juicy tomatoes, so I decided to skip them all together.
Zucchini and Eggplant Stacks (serves 4)
- olive oil
- 1 small eggplant, cut into ½ inch slices
- 1 zucchini, cut into ½ inch slices
- handful of basil leaves, torn into small pieces
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- pinch of sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
- juice and zest of one lemon
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped mint leaves
- 6 Tbsp. olive oil
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Cook the eggplant slices 4 minutes on each side. Set aside. Add more olive oil to the pan, if needed. Cook the zucchini slices 1 minute on each side.
Oil a baking sheet. Layer the veggies in stacks, starting with a slice of eggplant on the bottom. Use a toothpick to hold each stack together. Bake 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix the dressing ingredients together. (Start with the first four, then add the oil and mint.) Remove stacks from oven and take out the toothpicks. Sprinkle with basil and dressing.
Stacking feels so fancy.