One Pot Lima Bean & Eggplant Bake

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This week is full of adventures and we are having a great time on the island of Gozo. While snorkeling yesterday we saw an octopus skulking around in the rocks! I have never before seen a live octopus.

In other adventure news, I learned how to light the gas oven in our apartment. I love cooking with gas and was so excited to see the gas stove here, but I have never lit a gas oven with a match. I have always used the kind that light automatically, and had visions of letting the gas run for too long and blowing up the entire place. Fortunately, the owner of the apartment stopped by and showed us how to light the oven. Turns out, it’s super easy!
 
Once we figured out the oven a whole new world of delicious options opened to us. This is much better than simply using a hotplate or microwave! This dish takes a long time, but it’s mostly hands off and, even better, it’s all done it one pot making for easy cleanup.image

One Pot Lima Bean and Eggplant Bake
Serves 4
200g Lima Beans
4 cloves Garlic, chopped
1/2 Onion, chopped
2 15oz cans of chopped tomatoes
6 Basil Leaves, chopped
2 tsp Harissa
1/2 Large Eggplant, cubed
1 Bell Pepper, chopped
2 Slices of Crusty Wheat Bread, cubed
Olive Oil
1/2 Lime, juiced

Soak the beans in plenty of fresh, cold water for 6-8 hours. Use a wide, shallow, oven proof pot.
Drain and rinse the beans. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the beans by a few inches and bring the beans to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until beans are almost tender, about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400F
Drain beans. Place bean pot back on stove over medium low heat. To the bean pot add garlic, onions and harissa. Cook, stirring constantly until onions start to soften and garlic becomes fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes and half the basil, stir and place the pot, uncovered, in the preheated oven.
Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with cubed eggplant and bell peppers, drizzle with a splash of olive oil and return to the oven. Do not stir eggplant and peppers in, sitting on the top gives them a nice, crispy char. Bake an additional 25 minutes. Remove from oven, top with wheat bread and another drizzle of olive oil and return to the oven for 15 minutes.
When bread is crispy and brown, remove pot from the oven, add lime juice and remaining basil. Scoop into bowls and enjoy!

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