Smoked Paprika Aubergine Mint Salad
Here is another delicious salad featuring grilled vegetables to add to the favorites list! This is the first recipe I have tried from Maria Elia’s cookbook The Modern Vegetarian: Food Adventures for the Contemporary Palate. I had purchased the book about a year ago from a cute little bookshop dedicated to cookery in Melbourne called Books for Cooks. While I doubt I would be able to give up meat entirely (pescatarian + poultry + pork at best…), this cookbook is full of beautiful and creative recipes that makes vegetarianism seem almost alluring.
This recipe features paprika spiced aubergines that are dressed with a garlicky tahini yogurt dressing. My favorite part of this salad is the smokey flavor of the grilled eggplant, which pairs amazingly with fresh mint and tahini. Maria’s original recipe called for 15g each of mint and parsley leaves and a handful of rocket leaves. For convenience, I used Mesclun salad mix and fresh mint leaves and decided to skip the parsley. Other deviations from the original recipe: reduced the amount of red onion to half and I used our own Tahini Yogurt recipe. Finally, I finished the salad with a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds; Maria also suggests adding toasted nuts such as pistachios will add a little texture.
Other grilled eggplant recipe ideas:
- Grilled Eggplant with Garlic-Cumin Vinaigrette, Feta & Herbs
- Grilled Antipasto Ribbon Salad
- Baba Ghanoush
Smoked Paprika Aubergine Mint Salad (recipe adapted from The Modern Vegetarian)
Yields: 4 servings
Marinated Aubergine Ingredients:
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 T smoked paprika
- 60 ml olive oil
- 2 large purple aubergines (or 12 baby ones)
- 15g mint leaves
- 2 C mixed salad leaves
- 1/2 C red onion, finely diced
- 400g cherry tomatoes, halved
- salt and pepper to taste
To make the aubergine marinade, pound the garlic with the sea salt in a pestle and mortar; then add the paprika and oil olive.
Cut the aubergines in half lengthways, then cut each half into thick wedges. (Optionally, you can also cut them into 1cm thick rounds, whichever aesthetic you prefer.)
Carefully score each wedge with the point of a knife in a criss-cross fashion and rub all over with the marinade. Leave at room temperature for 20 minutes or overnight in the fridge. Remove the aubergines from the fridge 10 minutes before cooking to bring them back to room temperature.
Preheat a griddle pan or barbeque and cook the aubergine over medium heat for about 10 minutes (turning regularly) until all the pieces are tender. To avoid a smoked up kitchen, you can also just char the aubergines on the griddle then finish them in a preheated medium-hot oven.
Toss all the salad ingredient together; season, and serve with the warm aubergines along with a large spoonful of Tahini Yogurt Dressing.