I promise you will love this dish for its taste, versatility and ease of creation. On whole wheat toasts, in lettuce wraps, omelets or just with a fork - it's yum!
2 medium-large eggplants**
2 large vine ripe tomatoes (cut in eighths)
1 box/can (16oz/15oz) of Great Northern beans
6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 tsp anchovies paste (2 anchovy filets mashed)
1/2 zest of one lemon + a bit for garnish
1/4 cup basil chopped
2 tablespoons parsley chopped + a bit for garnish
2 tablespoons olive oil divided + a drizzle for garnish
3/4 tsp sea salt (divided)
**When picking eggplant look for the following:
- smooth shiny skin (sans brown spots)
- firm texture, when pressed provides just a bit of give
- a greenish stem indicating freshness
- should feel slightly heavier than you would imagine for it's size
Preheat oven to 375. Using a gas flame or broiler, cook the outside of the eggplant, rotating until evenly charred on all sides. Remove from heat and cut lengthwise.
Cut your tomatoes in eighths and place in a bowl with smashed garlic (To smash your garlic simply peel the cloves (this method is genius), place the peeled garlic under the flat edge of your knife and press down with the palm of your hand).
In a smaller bowl mix together 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and anchovy paste. Pour mixture over tomatoes and garlic. Use your hands to mix the tomatoes until they are thoroughly coated.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Rub the bottoms of the eggplant with the remaining olive oil and place skin side up on the parchment paper. I like to place the eggplant slices catty-corner forming a diamond like shape on the pan to help keep the tomato juices contained.
Place the tomato mixture in between the eggplants and cook in the oven for 35 minutes, until dark crispy edges form on the tomatoes. Remove the tray from the oven and allow to cool.
In a pan, add the pine nuts and cook over low heat, shaking occasionally until a nutty aroma forms. Be sure to keep the pine nuts moving to prevent any burning.
Roughly chop the eggplant, garlic and tomatoes and place in a bowl - making sure to discard the stems of the eggplant. Add toasted pine nuts, lemon zest, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, chopped herbs, white beans and mix.
Spoon mixture into a serving dish, drizzle with a little olive oil, a touch of fresh chopped parsley and some additional fresh grated lemon zest.
Serve with toasted whole wheat naan, cucumber slices and/or bibb lettuce leaves for wraps.Jar any leftovers and freeze for up to three months.
Not into storing for later? Use your left overs over a fresh arugula salad with a simple lemon olive oil dressing or add it to a frittata or omelet for a fabulous meal anytime. Or best yet, try it on a grilled cheese using a pasteurized brie and Ezekiel bread. Now that's d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s.