Eggplant and Black Lentil Salad

Two of my favorite ingredients, eggplants and lentils, are combined together in this interesting Turkish salad I found in an Israeli magazine. You may add this salad to a bed of lettuce to create a salad meal, or you can use it as a side dish. I ate it as my main dish as it already has the protein in it (lentils). I added some cooked veggies and a nice piece of homemade bread and I was a very happy camper. I discovered that this salad tastes best the following day. And oh, yeah, the cherry on the icing is crumbling some feta cheese (vegan in my case) on top when serving the salad.IMG_7925

Ingredients:
2 medium eggplants, cut into 1 inch cubes
4 tbs oil
1 cup black lentils
2 ½ cups water
10 cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
½ cup mint leaves, chopped
½ cup raisins or dried cranberries
Juice from ½  lemon
1 tsp apple vinegar
Salt
Pepper

Preparation:
Heat an oven to 400F.

In a bowl mix the eggplant cubes with oil, salt and pepper. Spread them on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven until eggplants are nicely browned. Remove from the oven and cool.

Place the lentils and the water in a pot, bring to a boil and cook for about 25 minutes, until lentils are soft but not mushy. Drain of excess water and let cool.

In a large bowl, combine the lentils, eggplants, tomatoes, mint, raisins, onion, lemon juice and vinegar. Mix well and add salt and pepper to taste.

Keep refrigerated.

The salad tastes better the next day, as the flavors get absorbed.IMG_7918

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