Aromatic Mushroom and Eggplant Stew

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Earlier in our marriage we lived for several years in Detroit where there are many wonderful Greek and Middle Eastern communities and where good food and celebrations are at the heart of every life event. I remember one celebration, when I had reached a particular milestone in my journey toward ordination when Will took me and the boys to a Greek restaurant for dinner. I don’t recall everything that was on the table, but I do remember the heady aroma of tomatoes, lemon, mint and cinnamon. Those scents are forever linked in my mind to living in Detroit, and beginning my ministry there among many friends from many different cultures. A few years later, in Florida, an Arabic friend reminded me that cinnamon oil is often included in women’s perfumes in the Middle East as it is considered an aphrodisiac. So you could say that this dish is not only delicious, it’s exciting as well! ~ Glyn

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Aromatic Mushroom and Eggplant Stew

I medium or 1 small eggplants cubed (about 3 cups)
4 oz sliced crimini mushrooms
½ c diced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 poblano pepper thinly sliced
1 tbs olive oil
1 quart tomato sauce (homemade if you have it!)
2 tbs pesto (homemade if you have it)
½ c chopped walnuts
½ tsp each cinnamon, curry powder and dried mint
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lemon (slice ½, juice ½)
Fresh mint leaves (as garnish)
8 oz Italian sausage (optional)
Cooked rice, polenta, pasta or cubed squash

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In the oil, saute the onion, pepper, and (if using) the sausage. When translucent, add the garlic, mushrooms and the eggplant. Saute until all are lightly browned and the aroma begins to meld. Stir in the pesto and the tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer uncovered to thicken. Stir in the lemon juice and half the walnuts.
Serve over the rice, polenta, pasta or squash. Garnish with lemon slices, remaining walnuts and fresh mint leaves.

This entry was posted by Glyn Ruppe-Melnyk.

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