I’ve become increasing drawn to salads; not in the conventional sense with iceberg and croutons, but the limits to how far I can push them and still hold the classification. That, and what I can get away with feeding a proud pack of steak and potato eating future-in laws without them making a face.
It’s become a sort of game, really. What I can get away with before they proclaim there are too many greens or too many spices and herbs for their liking. To my astonishment [and glee] this salad was a winner. The interactive nature of grilling met with vibrant colors, warm spices and family camaraderie left the serving dish empty and prompt requests for the recipe. There’s no actual lettuce in this salad, so perhaps mixed vegetables would be a more appropriate name, though the raw onion and cilantro make it so fresh that salad seemed right. It’s crunchy, fresh, warm, spicy and intoxicating. The chickpeas provide a healthy amount of protein and the olive oil is all good fat, both of which will leave you feeling full but not stuffed. Serve it as a side or make it a main dish by adding cubed avocado.
Grilled Aubergine & Chickpea Salad [serves 4]
2 medium aubergine, thickly sliced
4 tablespoons olive oil
14.5 oz / 400 g can chickpeas, rinsed
.5 red onion, finely chopped
bunch of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Preheat your outdoor grill or indoor ridged grill pan over high heat.
In a large bowl combine sliced aubergine with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on heated grill in singe layer and grill first side until browned, about 5 minutes. Flip over and continue to grill until browned and tender, 4-5 additional minutes. Remove from grill and slice into quarters. Place grilled aubergine in serving bowl and chickpeas, cilantro and red onion.
In a small bowl, whisk together remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil with paprika and cumin. Once combined drizzle over salad and serve.
Nutritional Information (per serving)
300 Calories, 40 g Carbohydrates, 15 g Fat, 7.5 g Protein