Lemon Thyme Eggplant Bowl with Cumin Lentils

This dish is loaded with earthy cumin and bright citrus flavors. The combination of these flavors elevates eggplant to a new level.

Serves: 2Hands-on: 15 minutesTotal: 40 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 2


  • 2 small Japanese eggplants, sliced
  • 1⁄4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 cup French or black lentils
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 large zucchini, quartered and sliced into 1⁄2-inch pieces
  • 1 large summer squash, quartered and sliced into 1⁄2-inch pieces
  • 1 Tbsp. roughly chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice


  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Toss eggplant with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1⁄2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Reserve.
  • While eggplant cooks, bring lentils, stock, cumin, and bay leaf to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cover and reduce to a simmer for 25 minutes. When lentils are softened, drain off any remaining liquid and discard the bay leaf. Reserve.
  • Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the zucchini and summer squash, and season with remaining salt and pepper. Sauté until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Whisk the remaining olive oil with the thyme, zest, and lemon juice in a small bowl.
  • Place the lentils, eggplant, zucchini, and summer squash in a large bowl. Drizzle with lemon thyme vinaigrette.