If there ever was a nutritious & delicious aubergine side dish, this is it!
This is a side dish strictly speaking, and I love it as a side dish….I also love it as a main meal, I could eat this salad for lunch and dinner any day of the week. It’s the aubergine and the way in which it is prepared that makes this salad unusual, and just deeeelicious.
I have a small confession to make….I didn’t used to like aubergine, brinjal, eggplant, egg fruit – that’s a lot of names for one vegetable. It was literally the only vegetable that I would not touch, I didn’t want that stuff anywhere near me, ever. I did not like the taste or texture, or even the look of it.
Until……I went to Italy for my brother’s wedding and I dared to try a teeny tiny piece of aubergine prepared the way the Italians make it – because my brother wouldn’t leave me alone until I had a bite. Well. It was like a different vegetable, it tasted……great! I couldn’t believe it, it was so good I think I had aubergine every day while I was there and if I didn’t I was UPSET.
That was a turn around for the books. Their secret is that they cook the aubergine on a griddle pan, and then they layer it in a dish with olive oil, fresh mint and garlic and let all the flavours meld overnight. And amazingly, really amazingly for me, the aubergine becomes not only edible but completely addictive – it’s so delicious. My sister in law taught me how to make it, (thank you Ele!!) and I have been making it regularly ever since.
For another recipe I found while I was in Italy take a peek at my healthy homemade pear & blue cheese pizza.
You can have the aubergine as a side dish, in a sandwich, or with a salad like I have prepared here. I really like the addition of the chickpeas in this salad as they are so packed with goodness, taste great and are quite filling, so you can serve this salad with a light meal, or enjoy it on its own as I often do.
- 1 medium aubergine
- Small handful of fresh mint chopped
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 stalk celery chopped
- 2 small raddishes chopped
- 1 tin chickpeas drained
- For the dressing:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp apple cidar vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- Salt & Pepper
- Dash of mixed herbs
Slice aubergine into 5mm thick slices, heat a griddle pan or frying pan on med-high heat. Cook aubergine with no oil until browned and cooked through.
Brush a little olive oil on both sides of aubergine and layer in a deep dish with some of the chopped mint and garlic. Repeat layering until aubergine is finished.
Refrigerate overnight so all the flavours come together. If you don’t have time leave to sit for as long as you can.
Mix all dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.
Chop up celery and raddishes, place in a bowl with chickpeas and olive oil dressing, arrange aubergine on the side and serve.