I’ve had my eye on a recipe for Lamb and Eggplant Stew with Farro, Parsley, and in Sunday Suppers at Lucqes for a while now, but every time it comes down to it, I’m just too busy to put together the multi-day recipe. Instead, I used the flavors of that dish and a little inspiration from Tender to put together this quicker, vegetarian version. Eggplant gets roasted with a chile-garlic oil, then added to nutty wheat berries, parsley pesto, and a bit of whipped goat cheese. It’s balanced in both flavor and texture, and makes an interesting and healthy vegetarian main course. Feel free to play around with the components – would feta be a better counterpart, or perhaps a traditional basil pesto? Should the wheat berries be dressed in a chile-paste to amplify the heat?
Roast Eggplant, Parsley Pesto, Goat Cheese, and Wheat Berries
- 2 large globe eggplants
- 1/3 c. + 1/4 c. olive oil
- 7 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/2 tsp harissa or chile powder (may need more or less depending on the heat level of your chile powder_
- sea salt
- 2 c. uncooked wheat berries, cooked according to these directions
- 3 c. fresh parsley leaves
- 1/4 c. pine nuts or walnuts
- 4 oz. soft goat cheese
- 1/2 c. heavy cream
- Wash and dry the eggplants, then slice into 1 inch thick rounds. Salt both sides and set on a baking pan for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a food processor, blend 6 cloves of the garlic, 1/3 c. oil, and harissa until a smooth paste is formed. Use a paper towel to wipe salt and liquid from the eggplant slices, then cut the slices into 1 inch cubes. Brush the eggplant with the chile-garlic oil, coating all pieces, then sprinkle with salt. Roast for 40 minutes, stirring eggplant pieces about half way through.
- Cook your wheat berries while the eggplant is roasting according to directions in link.
- Make the pesto: In a food processor, blend 1/4 c. olive oil, remaining 1 clove garlic, and nuts to form a paste. Add parsley and blend until fully combined. Taste and season with salt if desired.
- Place the goat cheese in a bowl and use a whisk or fork to break it up. Add the heavy cream, and whisk together until a smooth, thick cream is formed.
- Place a scoop of wheat berries in each bowl. Top with a few spoonfuls of pesto, a scoop of roast eggplant, and a dollop of whipped goat cheese. Serve hot.