The recipe below is perfect for two people as a substantial accompaniment or side dish, or as part of a selection of salads. This salad is surprisingly filling with the rich tahini dressing, yet so fresh with the mint and juicy pomegranate. It’s a wonderful salad to have in your summer cooking arsenal – it calls out for sunshine and al fresco eating! To transform this salad into a stand-alone dish, try adding a little crumbled feta, which goes brilliantly. Without the addition of feta this salad is vegan.
1 large aubergine
1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
small handful of fresh mint leaves
2 spring onions
extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons of tahini
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
¼ clove of garlic
pinch of sea salt
Preheat the oven to 210 degrees, and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Cut the aubergine in half lengthways, and then again lengthways into quarters; now cut into chunky wedges.
Crush the coriander and cumin seeds in a pestle and mortar. Ground spices will work well too (only use a pinch though, not a teaspoon), but I love the texture of the coarsely ground seeds here.
Toss the chopped aubergines with a generous slug of olive oil, sea salt, and the crushed spices, before placing onto the oven tray.
Roast in the oven for 15 minuets, perhaps giving them a shake half way through cooking.
Meanwhile, de-seed the pomegranate, slice the spring onions, tear the mint leaves gently, and make the tahini dressing by stirring together the tahini, olive oil, salt, lemon juice and zest and a tiny amount of finely finely crushed garlic.
Remove the roasted aubergines from the oven and allow to cool slightly. This salad is equally lovely hot or cold, enabling you to prepare everything in advance if needs be.
I wouldn’t recommend dressing this salad and then tossing it, as you would normally, as the dressing smothers the pretty colours of the other ingredients. Instead, assemble the salad in layers, with small dollops of the tahini dressing throughout. Keep a few pomegranate seeds, sliced spring onions and mint leaves till the end to garnish. A final drizzle of olive oil, squeeze of lemon, and pinch of sea salt won’t go amiss before serving. Enjoy!