Lentil Salad with Roast Eggplant

6 medium eggplants (mine weighed 700 grams)

1 cup lentils (I used French Puy Lentils that hold their shape nicely when cooked)

1 small onion

3 sprigs of thyme

2 bay leaves

10 cherry tomatoes

2 mixed capsicums (I used green and yellow)

3 tablespoons chopped mint (if available use other fresh herbs too, coriander and parsley for example)

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tablesoons olive oil

2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses (optional)

 

Stab each eggplant twice with a fork, place on a baking tray and grill under high heat for 45 minutes, turning the eggplants occasionally, until they are black/brown on the outside and soft and deflated on the inside. The aim is to get a nice smoky flavour through the eggplant, so a certain amount of burning needs to happen. Once the eggplant is ready, set it aside to cool. Once cool enough to handle scrape the flesh from the skin, sprinkle on 1 teaspoon of salt and leave to drain in a colander for 10 minutes.

Cook the lentils while preparing the eggplants. Bring a medium pot of water to boil and add the lentils, chopped onion, thyme and bay leaves. Simmer vigorously for 25 minutes or until the lentils are cooked (this will depend on the type of lentils you use, as some will cook much faster than this). Drain the lentils, remove thyme sprigs and bay leaves, and leave the lentils to cool.

Chop the tomatoes, capsicum and mint. Make the dressing by combining the lemon juice, olive oil and pomegranate molasses.

Combine the the chopped vegetables and herbs with the cooled lentils. Stir through the dressing and season to taste. Serve with a blob of roasted eggplant on top.