I am so excited about this one! I know the title’s a bit of a mouthful, but it’s okay because that’s what makes this salad so amazing – so many tasty bits. I think I might have found my new default ‘make this now to make Becca happy’ meal. Roasted tomatoes and aubergine, topped with fresh herbs, crumbled feta and pine nuts, along with a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. This is SO good. Plus it only takes about ten minutes of actual effort, which is another reason that it’s perfect for making me happy. Great food with next to no effort = happy bunny.
Aubergine seems to be the Marmite of vegetables – you either love it or you hate it. I see a lot of people saying that they’ve never had it cooked properly, or they’ve never found a way to make it taste good. To them, I say: make this. This will make you love aubergine like I do (i.e. a lot).
By the way, am I allowed to call this a salad? Even though it’s full of cheese and nuts and other non-salady ingredients? I’m going to say yes, because it makes me feel virtuous. Since nobody seems to know the actual definition of the word ‘salad’, I’m going to go ahead and say that any vegetable-based dish can be considered a salad, which is great because it means that pretty much everything I eat can be considered one. Now I can tell people I eat salad for lunch every day (and actually, I’d be happy to if it was always as good as this).
Of course you can switch this salad up however you like – I’m thinking that next time I’ll give it a little glug of balsamic on top, or some black olives, or maybe I’ll add some roasted courgette slices to the aubergine… I’ll stop before I get too carried away, but you get the idea. Just go with your favourites.
We had this between two of us for lunch, with some pitta bread on the side, but if you’re having it as a full main meal it’ll only serve one – scale the recipe up accordingly.
For other salads-that-aren’t-really-salads, try these:
- marinated courgette salad with goat’s cheese and pine nuts
- warm lentil and halloumi salad
- marinated tomato, avocado and mozzarella salad
- roasted butternut squash salad with goat’s cheese and red onion
- 1 aubergine
- Spray oil
- 150g small tomatoes, halved (I used baby plum tomatoes)
- Black pepper
- 75g feta cheese, crumbled
- 3tbsp fresh herbs, chopped (I used coriander and basil, but parsley and mint would both work well too - use whatever combination you fancy)
- 2tbsp pine nuts
- 1tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F).
- Cut the aubergine lengthwise into slices that are just under 1cm thick - I got around 7 slices out of mine, not including the end slices which were almost entirely skin (you can discard these).
- Lightly spray a baking sheet with oil, and lay out the aubergine slices - try to get them in a single layer, but it doesn't matter if they overlap a tiny bit. Scatter with the halved tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper (don't be too generous with the salt, as the feta you'll add later is quite salty), and spray on a little more oil. Roast for 40 minutes, turning the aubergine slices over halfway through the cooking time.
- When the aubergine is quite soft, arrange the slices on a plate and top with the roasted tomatoes, crumbled feta, chopped herbs and pine nuts. Drizzle over a little olive oil, and serve immediately.