I love this lentil quinoa eggplant salad. Quinoa partners well with eggplant and the dense and hearty lentils and fresh tomatoes add a nice texture. This dish is deeply flavorful with warm spices. It's a super tasty and very nourishing meal that is also gluten-free and vegan; leftovers are perfect cold or warmed up.
1cupuncooked beluga lentils(200 g)
1cupuncooked quinoa,rinsed (200 g)
5tablespoonsextra-virgin olive oil
2small yellow onions,finely chopped
2small eggplants (aubergine), peeled, quartered lengthwise, and cut into thin slices (ca. 500 g)
1 1/2cupsof water(375 ml)
5green onions, white and light green part only, thinly sliced
1small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley,chopped
250gcherry or mini Roma tomatoes,quartered
Cook the lentils according to package instructions. When done, remove from the heat and drain if needed. Set aside. TIP: I recommend tasting the lentils after about 25 minutes to see if they are the consistency you want — more firm (al dente) is best for salads.
At the same time, in a separate saucepan, cook the quinoa. Bring the quinoa and twice the amount of water to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large deep-bottomed nonstick skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, as well as the eggplant and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt and 1 1/2 cups of water (375 ml). Bring to a simmer and cook, over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 25-30 minutes or until the eggplant is very tender and no liquid remains in the pan.
Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the cooked lentils and quinoa. Add the green onions, tomatoes and parsley and stir again to incorporate.
Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!
Leftovers make a great take to work lunch! A Weck jar is my favorite thing for transporting food to-go. And a little secret, I actually ate this for breakfast the next day. Loved it that much!