The first and only time I have had eggplant was a number of years ago in a vegetarian lasagna made by my brother’s girlfriend. It was delicious. Then I never had it again … I’m not sure why … Last week I was inspired by my blogger friend, Elle. She is the RD for My Fitness Pal and also writes her own fabulous blog, accordingtoelle.com. Elle brought me a ton of new readers a couple of months back by posting my recipe for Avocado Tuna Salad on the My Fitness Pal website and I am still super grateful. Now, I have another reason to be grateful to Elle. She inspired me to get back on the eggplant horse with this incredibly tasty salad.
I modified Elle’s original a tad, to use what I had in my fridge, but the main star is the roasted eggplant. So shiny and purple! How have I ignored you for so long?
I also halved the original recipe as when I asked Joe if he was interested in joining me in trying an eggplant and quinoa salad he looked at me as though I had two heads. I took that as a firm ‘no’. Well, more for me. 🙂
The eggplant was chopped into chunks, tossed with olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper and spread out onto a foil lined baking sheet. Then I simply popped it into a preheated oven.
While the eggplant was roasting, I thinly sliced some red pepper and onion and placed a small pan on the stove with olive oil to heat. Once it was warm, I tossed the veggies in with sea salt and fresh pepper to saute.
My kitchen was beginning to smell quite glorious, I must say! While the peppers and onions cooked away, I minced a clove of garlic, then added it and a good helping of chili flakes to the saute.
The timing turned out perfectly. Just as the onions were starting to look translucent, the oven timer went off and the eggplant was ready. I sprinkled the roasted eggplant with even more chili flakes because that, my friends, is how I roll.
We had quinoa bolognese on the weekend and, as always, I cooked up extra quinoa to store in the fridge.
I tossed my pre-cooked quinoa into a large bowl and added the eggplant and the onion and pepper saute. Then comes the piece de resistance! Fresh mint and basil. I love, love, love the smell of fresh basil. So clean and aromatic.
Finish the whole thing off with fresh lemon juice and BOOM! Amazement in a bowl.
Thanks so much, Elle, for not only helping me to promote my blog and further this message of healthy, balanced eating, but for gently nudging me to pick up some eggplant and get re-aquainted with this delicious vegetable. I now owe you two. 🙂
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- 3 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 small eggplant chopped into wedges
- 1 small onion thinly sliced
- ½ red pepper thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 8 fresh mint leaves torn into small pieces
- 6 leaves fresh basil torn into small pieces
- Sea salt & fresh pepper
- ½ lemon juiced
- ½ tbsp chili flakes
- Preheat oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with foil
- In a large bowl, toss together chopped eggplant, sea salt, fresh pepper and 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- Layer eggplant on the baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, tossing once or twice
- Meanwhile, heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a small pan. Slice onion and red pepper and sauté with sea salt and fresh pepper, cooking until the onion is translucent and peppers are tender
- Add garlic and half of the chili flakes, give it all a good stir and remove from heat
- Once eggplant has finished roasting, sprinkle it with the remaining of chili flakes
- Add everything to a large mixing bowl, toss in the mint and basil, squeeze in the lemon juice and toss again
- Store, covered, in the fridge for up to a week