Thursday, February 13, 2014

Eggplant Chickpea Stew

I was really craving a fresh vegetable-based meal this week when I received a recipe suggestion from Naked Infusions. Naked Infusions makes fresh gourmet salsas and are currently working on a recipe book so I was delighted when they offered to send me one of their recipes in advance along with their salsas. I don't think I ever really considered cooking with salsa before so this was a new idea for me!

This dish's base is the fresh Naked Infusions Signature Ripe Tomato (Mild) salsa, a mild, gourmet salsa made with all-organic tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, and spices. Although pricey at $12 per jar online (cheaper in Whole Foods in CA & TX), this salsa is delicious and is just thick enough to use as a base for this dish. You get the meaty eggplant along with big slices of zucchini, strips of bell peppers, and diced onions in a tomato sauce topped with fresh cilantro and parsley. It really is the salsa and fresh herbs that make this dish.

Eggplant Chickpea Stew
Serves 8

  • 6 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 small eggplant, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 zucchini, sliced into rounds
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Naked Infusions salsa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Fresh parsley leaves
  • Cooked short grain brown rice

Pour 4 tablespoons of olive oil into a large saute pan over high heat. When just starting to smoke, add the eggplant cubes. Immediately, reduce heat to medium, and stir well. Cook until eggplant pieces are golden and tender about 10 minutes. When done, turn off heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add the onion, bell pepper, and zucchini. Cook, stirring often, until onion starts to brown around the edges, 8-10 minutes.

Add the paprika, turmeric and garlic. Stir well, and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Then add 1 cup of salsa and water. Add the eggplant, chickpeas, and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium-low for a simmer. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Spoon into a bowl over the rice. Top with more of the salsa and cilantro and parsley. Bon appetit!

Full Disclosure: Although the salsa was provided to me for free to review, that in no way influenced my veracious opinion. 

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