Grilled Baby Eggplant with Chickpea-Tahini Salad

Bag items: baby eggplant, garlic, onion, lemon, fresh cilantro and parsley, feta cheese

I absolutely love Mediterranean food. It’s light yet filling, healthy and tasty, and always has lots of fresh herbs and vegetables. I can’t get enough of it! One of my favorite ways to eat eggplant is when it is grilled until super soft, then blended with herbs and spices to make baba ghanoush. The idea of grilling the eggplant is what led me to this yummy lunch/side dish. It’s basically a combination of grilled eggplant with a chickpea salad over top, dotted with some tahini. Healthy and delicious!

Eggplant also has a lot of nutritional benefits, such as those found the fiber-rich and antioxidant-rich skin. It contains fiber, potassium, as well as vitamins B and C. Moreover, a cup contains only 20 calories, no fat, and more than 2 grams of fiber. So fire up the grill (or grill pan) and let’s get going!

Start by slicing the eggplant long-wise, then spray with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.  Then pop it on the grill until it is as well-done is you like it:

babyeggplant_sliced

While it is grilling, mix up your salad ingredients:

babyeggplant_saladingred

Stir it up:

babyeggplant_saladmixed

Then assemble!

babyeggplant_final

Drizzle with tahini and serve:

babyeggplant_tahini

Grilled Baby Eggplant with Chickpea-Tahini Salad

3 baby eggplant
1 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper to season

For the salad:

1 15oz. can chickpeas (or 1 1/2 c.)
½ onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. parsley
2 Tbsp. cilantro
1 Tsp. cumin
1 Tsp. coriander
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 Tsp. salt
½ c. chopped or crumbled feta cheese
2 Tbsp. tahini (optional)

Instructions:

  • Slice your eggplant in half, then spray with olive oil (or brush the eggplant with a light coating of it). Season with salt and pepper, then place on a hot grill for 5-7 minutes on each side, depending on how soft you like your eggplant.
  • Meanwhile, combine all of the salad ingredients.
  • Let the eggplant cool slightly, and then top with the chickpea salad.  Add extra salt/pepper if desired.
  • Drizzle 2 Tbsp. of tahini across the topping. This is an optional but recommended step! It adds a touch of creaminess to the salad and ties the eggplant and salad together beautifully!
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