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Eggplant and Chickpea Stew

Eggplant and Chickpea Stew

1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms

3 cups hot water

2 large eggplants (about 1 ½ pounds each)

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 large onions, thinly sliced

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp dried oregano, crumbled

1 small (1-inch) cinnamon stick

1 tsp salt

1 tsp freshly ground pepper

1 bay leaf

1 cup dried chickpeas, rinsed and soaked overnight and drained

1 can (28-ounce) tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped

¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley


Preheat oven to 400ºF. Combine dried mushrooms and hot water in a bowl. Stir well and let stand for 30 minutes. Strain through a sieve lined with a paper towel and set the liquid aside. Finely chop the mushrooms. Meanwhile, peel eggplants, if desired, and cut in half lengthwise. Brush the cut sides liberally with 2 tablespoons oil. Place on a rimmed baking sheet, cut-side down, and roast until tender, about 25 minutes. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Cut into 1-inch cubes and transfer to a 4-quart (or larger) slow cooker. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 3 to 6 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, cinnamon stick, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and the chopped mushrooms; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the reserved mushroom-soaking liquid and chickpeas. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker and stir to combine with the eggplant. Cover and cook until the chickpeas are very tender, about 4 hours on High or 7 to 8 hours on Low. Remove cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Stir in tomatoes and parsley. Serves: 8.

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