Eggplant Salad with Lemony Garlic Dressing

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Rich and flavoursome eggplant salad with French lentils, tomatoes, and a lemony-garlic dressing.

Colourful eggplant salad in a ceramic bowl

A Mediterranean-inspired eggplant salad packed with flavoursome fresh herbs and spices this is a hugely satisfying meal.

Soft, juicy eggplant reminds me of my Nanas traditional Croatian cooking (which to be honest is almost anything slightly over-cooked, covered in copious amounts of olive oil and garlic. Oh, and lets not forget the hunk of stale bread and a small glass of 50/50 homemade red wine and water! I can just hear her, Sveetheart, eat some more!).

Pairing it with French lentils and a medley of other things, has turned it into a meal in its own right, and a great source of dietary protein. Entirely plant-based, as always, this is one that will for sure impress anyone at the dinner table.

Eggplants have that gorgeous deep purple pigment in the skin, which lends powerful protective phytonutrients called anthocyanins, with antioxidant effects, while lentils are a fantastic source of prebiotic fibre, needed to feed the friendly bacteria in the gut.

This is an absolute mouth-watering plateful of deliciousness!


Mediterranean Eggplant Salad with lentils, tomatoes, lemon, garlic and herbs. Find it here!
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Gorgeous bowl filled with vibrant Mediterranean eggplant salad

Eggplant Salad How to Make:

1 / Pre-heat the oven at 200C / 392F. Start by prepping the eggplant: slice off the ends, then cut into rounds, about 1/2 cm thick. Slice each round in half to create half-moons, or into strips if its particularly wide. Toss with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then spread over a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Step by step showing how to cut and prepare eggplant - first into rounds, then into half moons, toss with oil, transfer to a baking tray

Bake for around 25 minutes. Youll need to use tongs to toss periodically to ensure they cook evenly. The eggplant will shrink and turn golden once ready delicious!

Close up of fully cooked eggplant

2 / Rinse lentils well under running water, then add to a pot, cover with water (double the volume of lentils), bring to a boil and simmer until soft, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside. In an ideal world soak your lentils in water during the day prior to dinner, it will help improve bioavailability of nutrients and speed up your cooking time. Hooray!

3 / Once the eggplant has cooked, remove and set aside. Place cherry tomatoes and walnuts on a tray and bake until the tomatoes are shrivelled and juicy. Youll need to take the walnuts out after about 5 minutes as they toast up quite quickly once theyre done, roughly chop them up.

Cooked lentils, dressing in a glass jar, and the salad tossed with the dressing

4 / In a large bowl, combine the cooked eggplant, lentils, tomatoes, walnuts, capers, preserved lemons (sliced thin) and finely chopped parsley.

5 / Whisk all dressing ingredients together and pour over salad, toss. To serve, add a couple of drops of lemon essential oil to coconut yoghurt, mix well, and add a dollop with your meal.

Which are the best lentils to use?

French green lentils (aka Du Puy lentils) are the absolute best for salads, because they hold their shape well when cooked. Red lentils will go mushy (perfect for soups or as a mash), and brown lentils would work though not my first pick.

What can I substitute for Zaatar?

Zaatar is a Middle Eastern seasoning. You can either combine the individual ingredients to make your own, or keep it simple and use a single spice such as sumac, which has a lovely lemony taste.

To substitute:

  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground sumac
  • teaspoon dried oregano or marjoram

Combine in a small jar, use 1 teaspoon in the dressing.

Where do I source lemon essential oil from?

Firstly its optional you can always use fresh lemon. Secondly please only use the doTERRA Lemon essential oil, as it is safe and approved for use as a food flavouring. This oil is cold-pressed from the rind of the fruit. The flavor is much more intense than using fresh lemon juice, so is a nice little addition to add some wow-factor.

You can purchase essential oils here.

Overhead shot of delicious eggplant salad on the dining table

What do I serve this Eggplant Salad with?

Honestly, its so filling and flavorsome it really is a stand-alone meal. If youre enjoying smaller portions, then perhaps;

  • Steamed baby potatoes with green beans
  • Simple acid-free tomato and cucumber salad
  • Chunk of toasted sourdough

Can I freeze it?

Yes, but Id leave out the parsley and add it fresh.

More Mediterranean-inspired dishes

Ok thats all for today my friends. If you like and enjoy my recipes, you would help me immensely by pinning or sharing some of my content, Id be super grateful.

Enjoy, and see you next week,

Lauren.

Eggplant Salad pinterest

If you make and enjoy this recipe, please leave a rating below. And better yet leave me a comment to tell me how you got on, or just say hi I LOVE hearing from you. Follow me onInstagram,FacebookorPinterestto see more of my everyday recipes and wellness tips.

If youd like to chat with me aboutessential oils,or book in a class,you can do that here.If youre after aNaturopathic consult,read more here.

Eggplant Salad

Rich and flavoursome eggplant salad with French lentils, tomatoes, and a lemony-garlic dressing.

Eggplant:

  • 3 eggplants (large)
  • cup + 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (cold-pressed)
  • Salt and pepper to season

Salad:

  • 1 cup French/green lentils (200g)
  • 1 cup parsley (flat leaf)
  • 250 g cherry tomatoes
  • cup walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • preserved lemon

Dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (cold pressed)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Zaatar spice blend
  • 1-2 cloves garlic (minced fine)

To serve:

  • 4 tablespoons thick coconut yoghurt
  • 2 drops doTERRA lemon essential oil
  1. Pre-heat oven at 200C / 392F. Prepare the eggplant: slice off the ends, then cut into rounds, about cm thick. Slice each round in half to create half-moons. Toss with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then spread over a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake for around 25 minutes. Use tongs to toss periodically to ensure they cook evenly. Eggplant will shrink and turn golden once ready.

  2. Rinse lentils well under running water, then add to a pot, cover with water (double the volume of lentils), bring to a boil and let simmer until soft, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside. See my notes re soaking the lentils in advance for optimal nutrition and digestion.
  3. Once the eggplant has cooked, remove and set aside. Place cherry tomatoes and walnuts on a tray and bake until the tomatoes are shrivelled and juicy. Youll need to take the walnuts out after about 5 minutes as they toast up quite quickly once they're done, roughly chop.

  4. In a large bowl, combine eggplant, lentils, tomatoes, walnuts, capers, preserved lemons (sliced thin) and finely chopped parsley.
  5. Whisk all dressing ingredients together and pour over salad, toss. To serve, add a couple of drops of lemon essential oil to coconut yoghurt, mix well, and add a dollop with your meal.
  • French or green lentils are preferred as they hold their shape well once cooked, red lentils will turn to mush.
  • From a nutrition and digestion standpoint, I like to soak my lentils (red lentils are the exception) in water for up to 12 hours before I use them. This help reduce phytic acid content and enhance bioavailability of minerals. It also speeds up the cooking time. Its so easy to do just combine lentils and water in a pot in the morning, leave them on the kitchen counter, then drain and rinse ready to cook at dinner time.
  • 3 whole large eggplants sounds a lot, but remember they shrink down considerably. No need to salt them prior.
  • You can grill the eggplants if preferred.
  • I used cherry tomatoes on the vine super cute if you can find.
  • Pine nuts can be used in place of walnuts.
  • Sumac is an alternative to Zaatar spice.
  • See my yummy preserved lemons recipe here, or use store-bought
  • Please only use doTERRA Lemon essential oil, as it is approved and safe for use to flavour foods. You can purchase essential oils here
  • You can of course use plain lemon juice in place of the essential oil

The post Eggplant Salad with Lemony Garlic Dressing appeared first on Ascension Kitchen.


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