Eggplant, Tomatoes, peppers, chickpeas.
I cook with these ingredients a lot.
Sometimes all together. Sometimes in different combinations with some other vegetables thrown in. But they’re pretty standard occupiers of my fridge.
We all go to the market and we all find ourselves coming back with the same things over and over again.
There’s not an infinite number of vegetables in the world. And there’s not an infinite number of foods to be tried.
There are infinite possibilities when it comes to flavors.
Recently I’ve been exploring an aisle in the store I usually shied away from. Instead of picking up the usual salt, pepper and dried basil, I’ve been venturing out with things like coriander and ground ginger.
Mixing spices lets you transform your vegetables. Spices can take eggplant from Italy to Morocco and to your dinner table.
And that’s what I did with this dish. I took my usual suspects of tomatoes, eggplant, peppers and chickpeas and tossed them with some new spices. The result? The smoky and complex flavors of the dishes I’ve had in Moroccan restaurants.
For this dish you will need
- 1 eggplant, peeled and chopped
- 2 green bell peppers, chopped
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- olive oil
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon coriander
Drizzle olive oil in a large pot and toss in the eggplant, seasoning with salt and pepper. Let the eggplant cook on its own for a few minutes until it starts to brown. Eggplant is like a sponge, so add more oil if it soak it all up.
Add the peppers and stir, letting them soften a bit.
Next add in the tomatoes. This is a one pot dinner that’s all about layering the flavors. The vegetables cook at different times, so by adding them in throughout the cooking process, each gets the chance to cook through without turning to mush.
Last, add in the chickpeas and the spices. Give the pot a big stir, cover and let simmer for about 10 minutes. This is a great dish if your significant other is going to be late because it can just hang on the stove over low heat until everyone is home.
Dish up heaping bowls and top with a scoop of tzatziki.
The noise of the city fades as the spices transport you to a far off village…