Arugula Salad with Roasted Eggplant and Sweet Pomegranate Dressing

Arugula Salad with Roasted Eggplant and Sweet Pomegranate Dressing

Arugula Salad with Roasted Eggplant and Sweet Pomegranate Dressing

Yield: 4–6 servings                   Preparation time: 1 hour

Arugula is not everybody’s favourite due to its sharpness/pepperiness but I do appreciate it especially combined with a host of ingredients bringing in different tastes and flavours. Sometime ago, I read with interest a salad recipe combining arugula and soft buttery eggplant and I created my own. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

Ingredients

Eggplant

  • 2 medium-size eggplants
  • Olive oil to brush the eggplant slices
  • Sea salt

For the dressing

  • 2 tsp whole fennel seeds
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 3 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tbs honey
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 large handfuls arugula leaves
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves (or one small tomato)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup toasted peanuts
  • 3/4 cup fresh pomegranate seeds (basically half a pomegranate)

Preparation

Eggplant

– Preheat the oven to 200°C.

– Peel and cut the eggplants into thick rounds of about 3 cm/1 inch thick

– Brush both sides with oil, sprinkle with sea salt and place on a shallow baking sheet. Place in the oven to roast until golden and cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes on each side.

– Remove, cool completely and slice each round in half. Set aside.

Red onion and peanuts

– After slicing the onion thinly, have it sautéed 2 minutes with a teaspoon of oil so it loses a bit of its sharpness. Let is cool down and add one spoon of apple vinegar to marinate.

– In the same pan, quickly have the peanuts sautéed (3 mins) so they get a bit of a smoky flavour (I actually use a mix of peanuts with red chili, a common treat in China).

Dressing

– Put in a blender and crush the fennel seeds and garlic to make a paste. Add the balsamic vinegar, honey, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, pomegranate molasses and olive oil. Whisk together to emulsify the dressing. Set aside.

Salad

– Wash carefully the arugula leaves and dry it well. In a large bowl, lay the arugula leaves. Sprinkle the onion and tomatoes, and season on top. Add part of the dressing and toss to combine it well.

– Scatter the eggplant slices on the salad, peanuts and pomegranate seeds and drizzle some dressing all over.

– Serve immediately, with freshly baked bread on the side.

Bon Appetit!