Roast Eggplant Salad

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I made this lovely, colourful eggplant salad to go with Sunday night’s baked falafels. We have falafel quite a bit but I confess we buy packet mixes and we always fry them. We’ve been meaning to make our own for quite a while but never managed to do so. I found this recipe on taste and decided to give it a go.

The falafels weren’t such a hit: easy to make and quite good flavour, but baking them is just ridiculous. I can’t help but wonder if the person who came up with the recipe had some healthy eating brief to follow. In addition to baking being most unsatisfactory for the falafels, there is no way this serves four people. Well, I suppose it might if they weren’t that hungry and shared our low opinion of the baked falafels!

However, this roast vegetable salad was definitely a hit. You can’t choose to make it on the hottest summer day, because you do need to have the oven on, but cool changes always come around eventually!

Heat your oven to 200°C, and line two trays with baking paper. You may also wish to give them a quick dab of oil. Take some Roma tomatoes (for the two of us, I used 2), quarter them, put them on one tray, and drizzle with olive oil (I actually used an oil spray – whatever works for you). You could always season them here, and the addition of some thyme leaves would work well too. Take one large eggplant, cut into chunks about an inch square and spread out over the other tray. Again, drizzle with oil and season if you wish. Place the trays in the oven for a good 20 minutes – half an hour. You want the eggplant in particular to cook and soften and take up a bit of colour.

While the vegetables are cooking, finely slice half a red onion into your serving bowl. When the vegetables come out of the oven, pop them straight into the bowl, onto the onion. The warmth will help soften the onion a little, both in terms of texture and flavour. Sprinkle over some sumac (to taste, I love the stuff so I use loads!) and add plenty of torn mint. You can see how much I used! Gently toss the salad and you’re ready to serve.

You could gussy this up even further by adding some pomegranate seeds (how gorgeous would that look?), and you could serve it with a lemony yoghurt dressing. I just served it with some plain yoghurt with some more sumac sprinkled over the top for colour. Really delicious and incredibly healthy.

Now I just need to find a great falafel recipe!

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