Eggplant and Chickpea Stew with Tomatoes
MAKES 4 SERVINGS
2 small to medium eggplants, about 1 1/2 - 2 lb total weight
4-5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, cut into wedges
3-4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 lb fresh tomatoes, pureed with a grater-shredder
1 1/2 cups canned chickpeas
1 lb canned ticed tomatoes with juice
Salt and ground pepper
1/4 Tsp sugar
1/8 Tsp dried crushed thyme
Pinch of ground cinnamon
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Cut eggplant crosswise into slices about 1/2 inch thick.
Heat a large heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add 2 Tbsp olive oil, then eggplant and fry until they are browned on the first side, about 5 minutes. Turn and brown other side, adding 1-2 Tbsp more olive oil to the pan. Remove eggplant and set aside.
Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Saute onion with garlic until onion is softened, 5-6 minutes. Then add pureed fresh tomatoes, chickpeas, canned tomatoes with juice, salt and pepper to taste, sugar, thyme, cinnamon, red wine and parsley. Cook gently until suace is thickened and savory, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally but do not break up chickpeas.
Add eggplant, taking care not to break the slices, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer about 10-15 minutes. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, taste, and serve hot or at room temperature.