If I were ever in need for quick-fix of veggies it’s always September. There’s something about this month, maybe it’s because summer is over, the weather is finally perfect, or people are just trying to savor the last days of sunset views at 7 PM, but I’m constantly running around to this meet up and this party. I find myself eating more and more snacky foods, which are typically of the fried variety. It’s not actually a problem unless you’re chatting with my waistline.
So here’s my go-to salad, which is the creation of the brilliant Jamie Oliver. My version is slightly tweaked, but really I owe this all to him. Because it really can be a task to find your way to a salad that’s exciting. I often find myself dumbstruck and reverting to classics like a Greek Salad or classic kale salad. But ick how basic! At times, I’m guilty of completely forgetting that all you need in order to spice up a salad is a new ingredient and maybe a bit more kick to your dressing.
And with aubergine season right here, what a perfect time to introduce you to the fairytale that is this salad. And maybe the fairytale eggplant, if you aren’t familiar.
So the steps to this salad are so simple. All you need to do is roast your aubergine in a bit of olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper. And then just like that, you’re basically done. I know, I know. That’s really simple. And you may also be wondering where the rest of the salad comes in. Well all you need is to sprinkle the rest on a plate and create your dressing.
The salad dressing is a simple combo. I use one of the hot roasted pepper relishes that can be found at the market. I place it in a bowl and just add a bit of oil and lemon juice, stir, and voila! quick and easy dressing that doesn’t feel like a basic dressing you picked up in the grocery isle. Also the beauty of using the relish is that if the relish doesn’t have enough spice, enough salt, etc. you can add that in very smoothly.
Another note is that the combo of a spicy dressing with the tangy pomegranate seeds is sure to ignite some kind of fire in you. Most likely your mouth but maybe your brain? Possibly fairytale love?
8 fairytale eggplants
18 cherry tomatoes
4 cups arugula
2 cups leafy parsley
1 cup pomegranate seeds
4 tbsp chili pepper relish
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper for seasoning
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut your eggplants in half. In a bowl, toss eggplants with 1 tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper.
2. On a lined baking sheet, lay eggplant slices one-by-one. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Eggplants should be golden.
3. In a small bowl, squeeze juice from one lemon and combine with pepper relish and 2 tbsp olive oil.
4. Once eggplants are ready, combine all ingredients to salad and top with a handful of pomegranate seeds.
And just like that, you’ve got yourself a storybook ending to all of your veggie cravings.