Puy Lentil & Aubergine Caponata Recipe with Pine Nut Gremolata by Joey O’Hare

Earlier this week, we featured Joey O’Hare, an amazing veg-centric pop-up and development chef. She has kindly shared with us a delicious, Med-inspired recipe, perfect for batch cooking and freezing. It’s great for a delicious weekday reheat or when hungry friends descend last minute and the fridge is bare. Be fancy and serve it with the gremolata, which you will want to make fresh (you can make this in advance as it will keep in the fridge), but it is equally delicious without. Here is Joey’s Puy Lentil & Aubergine Caponata with Pine Nut Gremolata recipe. Enjoy!

 

Puy Lentil & Aubergine Caponata

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 onions
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 16 sprigs fresh thyme / 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 16 sprigs fresh oregano / 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 large aubergine
  • 4 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp flakey sea salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 200g soaked puy lentils
  • 2 tins organic chopped tomatoes
  • 600ml veg stock
  • Large handful fresh parsley
  • 4 tsp baby capers

Method

  • Soak the lentils in cold water overnight.
  • Slice the onion into half moons, finely chop the celery, and crush the garlic. Prep the herbs if using fresh.
  • Gently heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or casserole dish, and sauté the onions, celery, herbs and garlic for 12 mins until soft and translucent.
  • Dice the aubergine into approx. 2cm cubes. Add the aubergine, and an extra drizzle of oil if necessary. Sauté for 8 mins until the aubergine starts to soften; a little catching or colouring here is a good thing, don’t be afraid to keep the heat medium/high.
  • Add the tomato puree, sea salt, balsamic vinegar, and  sugar.
  • Drain the lentils and rinse very well under running water. Add to the saucepan. Add the veg stock, and chopped tomatoes and stir well.
  • Have the lid ‘half on half off’, and simmer gently for 45-60 mins until the lentils are cooked though. Gentle cooking will ensure the lentils cook through evenly, without over cooking on the exterior and remaining too al dente in the middle. Stir from time to time to make sure the lentils don’t catch.
  • Taste the seasoning - puy lentils often needs more salt than you expect!
  • Serve with pine nut gremolata (see recipe below), a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and a hunk of fresh sourdough. This will last in a tupperware in the fridge for 5 days (reheat thoroughly) and will happily freeze for 4 months.

 

Pine Nut Gremolata

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp pine nuts
  • 2 organic lemons, zest only
  • Large handful of curly parsley
  • 1 clove garlic

Method

  • Toast the pine nuts very gently in a small frying pan until golden, constantly stirring to prevent burning.
  • Finely crush the garlic, or grate it using a  microplane.
  • Finely zest the lemons and finely chop the parsley.
  • Run your knife through all these ingredients together, combining them into a beautifully vibrant seasoning.