This delicious Persian inspired baked aubergine salad topped with yoghurt, pomegranate and pistachio is perfect for a delicious and healthy vegetarian summer lunch.
It’s no secret that I love to include middle eastern influences into a lot of my home cooking. Not just because it is part of my culture but also because the flavour combinations are just completely delicious! And this can be seen, once again, in this delicious baked aubergine summer salad.
Is there anything more delicious than a mixture of yogurt, pistachio and pomegranate?! For savoury or sweet…Yumm!
Plus this healthy vegetarian aubergine ( otherwise known as eggplant) summer salad has a delicious citrus dressing to go along with the refreshing yoghurt topping. It is the ultimate light go-to lunch for the warm weather we’ve been having recently here in the UK. It can be served warm or cold and can even be prepared ahead of time.
The recipe is super simple and can be whipped up in around 30 minutes ( and honestly, that’s just the baking time. The rest of the recipe takes about 5 minutes to throw together). And, if you want to make this salad a bit more filling then I’d suggest adding some of your favourite grain: Pearl barley or Freekeh are my personal favourites and can be prepared in the time it takes to prepare the baked aubergine.
More often than not though, I omit the grains and stick to a lighter version for the perfect summer salad.
Honestly, I think aubergine is fairly underrated too. With a fairly unique texture, aubergine definitely can have the ‘love it or hate it’ effect. Obviously, I am on the side of love!
They can be roasted, boiled, steamed, fried, grilled etc. And are super versatile – from dips to sides, to stews to this summer salad – wink! In fact, if you’d prefer – feel free to grill your aubergines for this salad instead of baking for a delicious, smoky flavour.
Not to mention that aubergine does actually have various health benefits:
- They are rich in fibre but low in fat and calories – so good for type 2 diabetes and generally a healthy addition to any meal.
- They contain ‘nasunin’, which gives aubergines a beautiful purple colour and has multiple benefits. Nasunin is not only an antioxidant, but it also protects brain cell membranes – specifically by protecting the lipids (fats) which are crucial in optimal brain cell membrane function and blood flow to the brain.
- Anthocyanins, found in aubergine, could protect heart health
- Plus, some research has shown that they may aid in lowering LDL cholesterol levels.
So this summer is the perfect time to start adding more aubergine into your diet!
If you decide to give this recipe a go then let me know in the comments below! I’d love to know what you think!
- 1 aubergine
- Mixed salad leaves of your choice
- Olive oil
- 1/2 lemon
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Yogurt for topping
- Pomegranate seeds
- A few parsley leaves
- A handful of pistachios (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Wash and cut the aubergine in half. Make a few cuts in the flesh of the aubergine, then place the halves on a baking tray, skin side down. Drizzle aubergines with olive oil and bake for about 30 minutes or until the flesh of the aubergine is tender.
- Meanwhile, prepare the citrus dressing. Mix the 1 Tbsp olive oil, juice of 1/2 lemon, salt & pepper and whisk well.
- Get a serving of your favourite mixed salad leaves and pour the citrus dressing on top. I used roquette leaves as that is my favourite summer salad 'go to'.
- Let the aubergine halves cool off for a few minutes then place them on top of the salad leaves.
- Top with some yogurt, pomegranate seeds, pistachios and parsley. Enjoy!