So it's been awhile since I've talked about our garden, or should I say pots? Moving house the week before Christmas means that we still haven't found the time to do anything about making those new garden beds, to house all the transferred plants. But not too worry, most of them are doing okay where they are and we aren't going to bother with the new garden beds until it's time to plant for next season now anyway. The beans are producing daily even though their leaves are yellowing and anaemic in the extreme Perth heat. My chillies are cranking, we're picking capsicums often, albeit small ones, the mint and basil are going nuts and the eggplant (aubergine) are coming along nicely. I picked this bowl of mini purple ones recently and for a few days tried hard to think of what to do with the measly 200g collected. There weren't really enough to make a decent meal out of, but I wasn't going to just waste them! I was initially thinking along the lines of a lovely Thai curry, topped with my little babies but decided in the end to go for a salad, after all it is summer and who feels like eating anything else? Not me.
It's such a shame that when roasted they lose their gorgeous purple colouring, but like all eggplant they still keep their beautiful creaminess nonetheless that pairs perfectly with loads of fresh herbs, a handful of ripe cherry tomatoes, feta and a tangy pomegranate molasses dressing.
This is one of those recipes that I kind of went into not knowing exactly where I was heading adding a little bit of this, tasting, adding a little more of that. I was happy with end results and was left with a beautiful flavour filled salad with loads of attitude and colour. If I were to change just one thing next time, it would be to add a couple of cupfuls of cooked, cooled chickpeas to the mix. Not only would this make it into a substantial meal, but it would stretch it further too. Making my piddly 200g of eggplant go that much further 🙂
roast eggplant, tomato and feta salad with pomegranate molasses dressing
The dressing recipe will make slightly more than you will need for this salad, unless you are taking my suggestion of adding chickpeas to this salad. If you have leftovers, simply store in a little glass jar in the fridge for up to 1 week. I used a mixture of baby purple eggplant and the longer Asian style ones. You can use regular ones, simply cut up into small cubes before roasting. We tolerate feta (thankfully) but if you don't just leave out altogether or add a handful of olives to give the same salty effect.
- 200g baby eggplant, cut in half or 1 large eggplant, cubed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, roughly torn
- 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, roughly torn
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- crumbled feta, to serve
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1-2 teaspoons runny honey, to taste
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 200 C/390F. Place prepared eggplant onto a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and season well with sea salt and black pepper. Roast for 35-45 minutes, turning once or twice during cooking, until the eggplant is really tender and nicely golden. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile prepare the dressing by combining garlic, ground cumin, honey and pomegranate molasses in a small bowl. Add vinegar/lemon juice and mix to combine. Slowly whisk in extra virgin olive oil to form a smooth dressing. Season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Combine eggplant, tomatoes, herbs and feta in a bowl, pour over as much dressing as you like. Mix and serve immediately.