Mediterranean Chickpea Salad with Roasted Egg Plant

The Mediterranean Chickpea Salad with Roasted Eggplant is more than just a dish; it's a journey through the rich and diverse world of Mediterranean cuisine.
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad with Roasted Egg Plant

Picture the Mediterranean – a region known not just for its stunning landscapes but also for its rich and diverse culinary traditions. In this recipe, we’re going to explore the exquisite world of Mediterranean Chickpea Salad with Roasted Eggplant.

The Artistry of Mediterranean Salads

Salads in the Mediterranean aren’t just side dishes; they are culinary creations big enough to be the main course. They embody the region’s ethos of freshness, simplicity, and the celebration of natural flavors. The Mediterranean Chickpea Salad wouldn’t be the same without its star ingredients, chickpeas, and roasted eggplant.

Chickpeas: Versatile Legume

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are more than just legumes. They are nutritional powerhouses, boasting a rich history and adaptability in various culinary traditions.

Eggplant: Fried Elegance

Frying eggplant transforms it into a delicious delight, adding depth to the salad. Understanding the art of frying is key to unlocking its potential. It is better to under cook rather than over cook eggplant. It goes from perfectly cooked to mushy very quickly.

Crafting a Flavor Symphony

The true magic of this salad lies in the symphony of flavors and textures. The creamy chickpeas, fried eggplant, and fresh vegetables create a culinary masterpiece. Mediterranean cuisine is known for its vibrant herbs and spices. The Za’atar Spice with the onion, parsley, fresh dill and garlic hits all the notes. 

The Mediterranean Chickpea Salad with Roasted Eggplant is more than just a dish; it’s a journey through the rich and diverse world of Mediterranean cuisine. The star ingredients of chickpeas and roasted eggplant shine with the crisp fresh veggies and the layering of flavors from the herbs and spices. This salad encapsulates the essence of Mediterranean cooking.

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New World Spice and Tea Trader

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad with Roasted Egg Plant Recipe

Ingredients

Scale

1 Large Eggplant, thinly sliced (no more than ¼ inch in thickness)

Salt

Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for frying

1 Cup Chickpeas, drained and rinsed

3 TBS Za’atar Spice, divided

3 Roma Tomatoes, diced

½ English Cucumber, diced

1 Small Red Onion, sliced in ½ moons

1 Cup Parsley, chopped

1 Cup Fresh Dill, chopped

For the Garlic Vinaigrette:

12 Garlic Cloves, minced

1 Large Lime, juice of

⅓ Cup Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

Instructions

Fry the Eggplant

  1. Place the sliced eggplant on a large tray and sprinkle generously with salt. Let it sit for 30 minutes (the eggplant will “sweat out” its bitterness as it sits.)
  2. Now line another large tray or baking sheet with a paper bag topped with paper towel and place it near the stove.
  3. Pat the eggplant dry.
  4. Heat 4 to 5 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking.
  5. Fry the eggplant in the oil in batches (do this carefully and do not crowd the skillet). When the eggplant slices turn golden brown on one side, turn over and fry on the other side. Remove the eggplant slices with a slotted spatula and arrange them on the paper towel-lined tray to drain and cool. It is better to under cook rather than over cook eggplant.  It goes from perfectly cooked to mushy very quickly.
  6. Once cooled, assemble the eggplant on a serving dish. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of Za’atar.

Prepare Chickpea Salad

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumbers, chickpeas, red onions, parsley, and dill. Add the remaining Za’atar and mix gently.

Prepare the Dressing

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the salad dressing over the fried eggplant; pour the remaining dressing over the chickpea salad and mix.
  2. Add the chickpea salad to the serving dish with the eggplant. Enjoy!

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