2 medium eggplant
2 cups cooked black lentils
¼ cup sultanas
1 cup green olives, sliced into cheeks
⅓ cup almonds, chopped
3 spring onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp lemon juice
¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped
¼ cup mint leaves, chopped
¼ cup parsley leaves, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp sweet paprika
2 tbsp preserved lemon rind, finely chopped
⅓ cup olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
Preserved lemon dressing
¼ cup olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp preserved lemon rind, finely chopped
1 Preheat oven to 200°C.
2 To make chermoula, mix together garlic, cumin, coriander, chilli, paprika, 2 tbsp preserved lemon, olive oil and salt.
3 To make lemon dressing, place oil, vinegar, Dijon and 1 tbsp preserved lemon in a bowl and whisk to combine.
4 Cut eggplant in half lengthways and score flesh with crisscross lines. Spread chermoula evenly over flesh and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Roast for 30 minutes, or until eggplant are soft and top is crisp and golden.
5 Place lentils in a large bowl with sultanas, olives, almonds, spring onions, lemon juice and fresh herbs. Toss to combine and season with salt and pepper.
6 Pile lentil mix on top of each eggplant and drizzle with lemon dressing to serve.
Eggplant is an amazing vegetable, capable of delivering a raft of umami–infused flavours, especially when it’s oven-roasted. Here, the eggplant plays off with the gutsy, protein-rich lentils while the lemony dressing lifts the dish. Taras Ochota pushes his wine in a natural direction with plenty of funk but no faults. This gentle pinot has a distinctly earthy edge, frolicking with the lentils and bouncing off the eggplant with the pinot’s vibrant acidity a neat counterpoint to the preserved lemon dressing. Peace and harmony reign here.