This is a variation on a casserole I’ve been making for the last couple of years whenever I need a week’s worth of something healthy on hand. It combines a balance of protein, grains, and veggies, so it works really well when I have a crazy busy week and need to grab and go!
I usually make it with a mix of my favourite mushrooms (shitake and cremini are a fave blend), but thought I’d experiment with eggplant as I had two in the fridge that needed to be used!
The recipe is very forgiving: feel free to throw in whatever veggies you need to clean out of your fridge along with your favourite spices and herbs. I find that as long as I keep the ratio of “3 cups of stuff” (beans, lentils, split peas, quinoa) to 4 cups of stock, it all works out. I bet a root veggie version with sage would be lovely!!
I made this casserole for a Holiday potluck with some singing girlfriends, and we had a blast. We trekked off to Cass’ house, where we arrived to see her festive new house decorated in blue & silver — from the tree:
To the gorgeous table, right down to the crockery:
My favourite part? The decorations in the tree!
And in terms of potluck dinner, my Foodie Hero Louise brought a vegetarian tourtière with a quinoa filling (normally a meat pie, and a specialty from Québec) along with her Mum’s traditional St-Casimir fruit chutney:
And a glorious sweet potato/parsnip mash with orange. Mmmmm. My favourite part of the evening for sure.
Trish plied us with desserts — we started with our “Nipple Tarts” (because they’re usually topped with raspberries), filled with brie, chocolate, and pecans.
Then we moved onto her Grandmother’s traditional bread pudding. Mmmm. I think I enjoyed it even more after having a savoury Panade so recently!
All in all, the casserole was a relatively light accompaniment to this hearty & nourishing Winter fare. It was a great meal with great friends, and I hope you can share this casserole in the same spirit!
Eggplant, Lentil and Quinoa Casserole
Adapted from Quinoa Casserole
- 2 eggplants, cubed
- kosher salt
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 cup black or green lentils (make sure you use lentils that retain their shape after they are cooked… red lentils won’t work here)
- 1 cup yellow split peas
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/4 tsp. asafoetida, optional
- 4 c. veggie stock
Preheat oven to 350F.
Place cubed eggplant in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Let sit 20-30 minutes to draw out the eggplant’s moisture. Rinse and pat dry.
Put eggplant along with all other ingredients into a baking dish. Stir, and pop into the oven to bake (covered with the dish’s lid or aluminum foil) at 350F for 40 minutes.
Remove the dish from the oven, stir, and add a little water or stock if it is looking dry. Cook for another 15-20 minutes, until everything is tender.