Italians love spending time in the kitchen as much as they love sitting at a table eating for hours.
That’s SO true!!!
Also, I find we are quite a masochist when it comes to deciding what to cook.
For an Italian, it’s pretty normal to fill a baking tray with stuffed eggplants and peppers and bake them for one hour.
In a tropical-hot day!
That’s what I did yesterday.
Ahhh…..(sigh)…These events literally catapult me every single time in my Italianness.
This recipe is a classic Italian summer (!) recipe, of course in vegetarian fairykale-power version.
It’s delicious and nourishing, even better if eaten cold, perfect for your lunch box.
Yes, you’ll be widely rewarded in many ways.
After all, culinary sacrifices are always damn worth, aren’t they?
Ingredients for 4
- 2 eggplants and 2 bell peppers
- 3/4 cup of millet
- 1/ cup of lentils (I used yellow lentils)
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, grated
- turmeric, cumin, and paprika, 1 teaspoon of each
- 3 tablespoons of chickpea flour
- 4 tablespoons of bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds
- a handful of fresh parsley and thyme (or other herbs of your choice)
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- optional: 1 cup of feta cheese
1. Cook millet and lentils
Rinse them well and then cook them separately, each with two parts of water, on low heat until they are tender and all the water has been absorbed. Season with salt and allow them to cool completely. To speed up the cooling down, I usually transfer them in a big ceramic/glass bowl.
2. Prepare the veggies
Wash and cut peppers and eggplants lengthwise in half. Remove the seeds and the membranes from the peppers. With a small knife scoop out the eggplant flesh, leaving about 1/2 inch around the skin. Sprinkle them with some sea salt.
3. Cook the eggplant pulp
Cut the eggplant pulp in small cubes. Finely chop the onion and place it in a skillet together with 4 tablespoons of evoo, turmeric, cumin, and paprika. Cook until the onion turns transparent/wilted, then add the eggplant cubes, season well with salt and let them cook for about 15 minutes or until soft.
4. Prepare the filling
In a large bowl mix millet, lentils, cooked eggplants, flax seeds, flours, bread crumbs, grated garlic, finely chopped parsley and a generous splash of evoo. Taste and if needed, add some more salt and pepper. If you like it, add the crumbled feta now without mixing too much.
5. Preheat the oven at 200 °C (400 °F)
6. Fill the veggies
Fill the peppers and eggplants with the millet-lentils mixture using a spoon or your hands.
Place the stuffed veggies on a baking tray covered with parchment paper and bake for about 50 minutes / 1 hour.
Lukewarm or cold, with roasted potatoes or salad.