Lentil ratatouille

This is a hearty ratatouille best served warm with a hearty bread, next to roasted potatoes or over pasta. Better yet, serve it the next day, when the flavors have blended and fully revealed their enticing aroma.

Ingredients (serves 4-6)
- 2 medium size eggplants, diced
- 4 large red peppers, diced
- 1 large onion, minced
- 1 cup lentils (preferably soaked overnight then drained)
- 1 can 500 ml diced tomatoes (or use 2 cups diced fresh tomatoes)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 Tablespoon oregano
- 6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- sea salt and pepper, to taste

Place the eggplant on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil and toss gently to coat. Roast at 375 for about 25 minutes, or until tender. Meanwhile, cover the lentils with plenty of water, add the bay leaf and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes, depending on the type of lentils used. Heat remaining olive oil and sauté the onions until translucent. Add the peppers and cook, stirring often, until tender. If using fresh tomatoes, add them at this point and continue cooking until they boil down. Add the roasted eggplant, tomatoes (if using the canned version), oregano and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes then add the drained lentils and cook for another 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your palate. Serve with a hearty bread, potatoes or pasta. Enjoy!

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