Monday, June 18, 2012

Meatless Monday - Squash, eggplant and chickpea gratin

I want to apologize for not being around last week. I have taken up walking the dog for 40 minutes every morning before I go to work. So while it is good for me and the dog it is bad for the blog. I'll try to do better. Enough excuses onto the food.

This is something that I adapted from a Williams Sonoma recipe. In my collection of cookbooks I have several (I'm not sure how many and am too lazy to get up to count) cookbooks by Williams Sonoma. They put out a pretty good cookbook. I've been able to recreate several of their meat recipes without the meat. This is the sign of a good cookbook in my book.

This is a recipe from their Vegetarian cookbook. I picked the book up at my local Half Price Books. One of my favorite places to pick up cookbooks. My second favorite use to be Costco but our Costco book section is lame so now I don't have a second favorite place. Sad, isn't it?

My one beef about cookbooks, or fancy cookbooks or cookbooks from fancy places or people (yeah, I'm looking at you, Ina Gardner) that is, is that they call for ingredients that a normal kitchen just doesn't have in it. While this cookbook has it's fancy stuff it also has it's peasant stuff also. Since I consider myself a peasant, and I'm okay with that. I am happy to find peasant recipes in any cookbook.

The farmers market had eggplant last week so of course I bought way too much and we can only eat so much eggplant parm and eggplant enchiladas. This recipe came to the rescue. I've cut it down to feed four. I'm working on making smaller meals since it is will be just JR and I in a few weeks.

Squash, eggplant and chickpea gratin

1 can chickpeas 
1 medium eggplant
3 medium zucchini or yellow squash or a combination of both
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion
1 bell pepper, color is your choice
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup Parmesan cheese


Drain and rinse tomatoes and chickpeas. You could do the whole chopping of tomatoes and picking over, rinsing, draining, soaking and cooking of the chickpeas but really who has time? Not me, so I drained and rinsed the canned stuff this time.
Peel strips off the eggplant. You don't have to take all the peel off but if you have a really big eggplant you'll want to take off some so it is not tough. Cut the eggplant and squash into pieced that are about the same size. This is a rustic dish and cooks for a while both on the stove and in the oven so make them a little on the big size. Say about 1 inch pieces. Set them aside.

In a large fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onions and bell pepper (I got real lazy and emptied a 10 ounce bag of Kroger onion and three pepper blend into the fry pan.) and cook, stirring until soft, about 10 to 12 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Don't over cook the garlic because it just gets nasty. Raise the temp to medium high and add the tomatoes, stock, red pepper flakes, basil, thyme, and chickpeas. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. oil a shallow baking dish. I used a 12 inch square pan. 

Pour the vegtable mixture into the prepared dish. Top with the parm. Bake until golden and bubbling aroung the edges, about 20 minutes.

Let cool for 10 minutes. 

It makes about 4 servings. 

We really liked this dish, JR went back for seconds, and I will probably make it again since I still have 3 more eggplants left. It seems I went a little eggplant crazy. 

Hey sorry about the picture of the leftovers. I forgot to take a picture before I served it up. This made great lunch the next day.  



  1. I could eat chickpeas every single day. This looks wonderful!

  2. This sounds delicious. I'm already planning to make it this week!! Thanks for posting it.

  3. This looks wonderful! I don't do much in the way of legumes, though - do you have a suggestion for something I can sub the chickpeas with?

    1. Jan, I'm thinking maybe asparagus but I wouldn't put it in until the final cooking in the oven. You want to have a bite to it. Carrots might work also.

  4. My beef with cook books is the quality of the construction. Not only could you use it as foundation support for a sizable building, you could also blow the photographs up to billboard sized without losing one ounce of definition. So basically they are way to big for anyone's kitchen and way too fancy to risk splashes. Therefore sit on bookshelves mocking the other denizens.

  5. Love everything that makes this - so I'm totally going to have to make it. And thanks for making me so hungry so close to midnight. ;)

  6. Ooh, that does look delicious. And I have seen some eggplants in the farmer's market just the other week..