Spiced Eggplant, Harissa, Beluga Lentils, and Garlic Tehina

Adapted by StarChefs.com
February 2013
Yield: 3 servings

INGREDIENTS:

Eggplant
10 ounces salt
1 gallon water
3 Chinese eggplants, cut into thirds and scored
fryer oil
Beluga Lentils
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 heads garlic, peeled and crushed
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 cup tehina
lemon juice
Root Vegetable Harissa
1 cup aleppo pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 head garlic, peeled
1 cup olive oil
5 radishes, peeled and chopped
5 small turnips, peeled and chopped
lemon juice
kosher salt

METHOD:

For the Eggplant:
In a large plastic container, dissolve salt in water. Add eggplants and cover with a weight so eggplants stay submerged. Brine for 2 hours. Dry the eggplants and pat dry. Heat fryer oil to 350°F and fry eggplants until tender.

For the Beluga Lentils:
Heat the olive oil in a pot and sweat onions and garlic until translucent. Add spices, toasting until fragrant. Add lentils, stirring to coat with oil and spices. Pour in water, bring to a boil, and lower heat to medium. Cook until lentils are tender and season with salt.

For Garlic Tehina:
Heat olive oil in a medium pan over low heat. Add onions, garlic, and salt and cook until vegetables are very tender. Remove from heat and cool. In a blender, combine the garlic-onion mixture with tehina and purée until smooth. Season with lemon juice and salt. Pass the tehina through a fine mesh strainer.

Root Vegetable Harissa:
In a food processor, combine the Aleppo pepper, red wine vinegar, and garlic while streaming in the olive oil. Process to a thick paste. Add radishes and turnips and continue to process until a paste is formed. Scrape the paste into a bowl and season with lemon juice and salt.

To Assemble and Serve:
Plate several smears of Beluga Lentils and top with a piece of Eggplant. Spoon some Root Vegetable Harissa over the top of the Eggplant and drizzle with Garlic Tehina.