I recently returned from a trip which included the Provence region of France. This picture is on the L’Isle of Martigues. The colors, the sunshine, the countryside, all beautiful, but most of all, the food was delicious! Today’s Friday Foodie is inspired by the food of Provence, as well as by Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s recipe, Eggplant Provencal. Her cookbook, Appetite For Reduction, is a new fav for me. I’ll review this book as soon as I try out a few more recipes. So far, all are wonderful! I changed her original recipe by adding lots of the different vegetables of the region.
Though there is a lot of chopping and slicing going on, this is actually a very easy recipe. I hope you will give it a go!
Slice a baseball size fennel into thin slices.
Half a medium size onion, red, yellow or white, whatever you have on hand, in half from stem to root. Slice each half into thin slices. Chop carrots into 1/2 in slices. I used orange and purple carrots. Slice a zucchini into 1/2 to 1 inch slices. Dice an eggplant into 3/4 inch chunks.
Chunk a large yellow potato. Yukon Gold are nice if available.
I used a bag of mushrooms and 1/2 cup of red lentils, though any kind of lentils will do.
Chop some Kalamata olives. I used about 1/2 a cup.
There is red wine in the sauce, which meant the chef had to have a small glass. It was the middle of the afternoon when I made this and thought a full glass might be over the top!
Then add the liquids to the vegetable mix.
The liquid should almost cover the vegetables, so add more broth if needed. Add more wine to the cook if needed.
I served this on a bed of brown rice, seasoned with Herbes de Provence and garlic. Delicious!
- 1 Tbs. water
- 1 bulb of fennel, thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp sea salt
- fresh ground pepper
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 medium eggplant, cut in ¾ in chunks
- 3 medium carrots of any variety, cut into ½ in slices
- 1 large zucchini, cut into ½ inch slices
- 1 bag of sliced cremini mushrooms or baby bellas
- ½ c dried red lentils
- 2½ tsps dried thyme
- 1½ tsps dried marjoram
- ¾ c of dry red wine
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- ½ c finely chopped kalamata olives
- 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
- Preheat a 6 quart pan over high heat.
- When a drop of water will skate across the bottom of the pan, add 2 Tbs. water.
- Add sliced fennel and onion.
- Turn heat to medium and saute for 5 mins.
- Add garlic.
- Continue to saute for five more minutes.
- Add the mushrooms, and saute until they release their juices.
- Add salt and some freshly ground pepper.
- Add the bay leaves and stir for another minute.
- Add eggplant, potato, carrots, zucchini, red lentils and spices.
- Mix together so all ingredients are interspersed.
- Add the wine and vegetable broth.
- Broth should almost come to top of vegetables.
- Add more if desired; it's okay if some veggies are poking out.
- Cover pot and bring to a boil, then lower to simmer.
- Simmer for 20 minutes and then check the potato, carrots and lentils.
- If all are fork tender, add the olives and tomato sauce.
- Continue cooking until heated through; about five minutes.
- Remove the bay leaves.
- Add salt to taste.
- Serve over a bed of brown rice that has been flavored with Herbes de Provence.