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.
- 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)
– 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).
– 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.
– 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.