Chickpea stew with eggplant, tomatoes & Spring greens

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2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. Japanese eggplant, trimmed and cut in ½” dice
As needed Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 ea. red onion, cut in ½” dice (1/2 lb)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp. paprika
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 cups water
4 medium tomatoes, cored and cut in 3/4” chunks (1 lb)
1 (15oz can) chickpeas, drained
2 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
1-2 Tbsp. good balsamic vinegar
2-3 cups braising greens (red or swiss chard, Tuscan kale, spinach etc.), torn
As needed Jasmine rice, steamed
1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped

Heat a large skillet over high heat, add 1 Tbsp of the olive oil and toss in the eggplant. Season with salt and pepper and brown the eggplant well on all sides (about 10 minutes); transfer eggplant to a bowl and set aside. Return the skillet to the fire, lower the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until onion is softened and beginning to caramelize. Add the garlic, paprika and tomato paste; cook an additional 3 minutes or so.

Add the water, tomatoes, chickpeas, thyme and vinegar; return the eggplant to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper and simmer 20 minutes until flavors are combined. Stir in the greens and check seasoning.

3. Spoon rice into serving bowls and ladle the stew over the rice. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Yield:  4 Servings