Aubergine, Chickpea and Walnut Salad with Pomegranate Yoghurt
A few hours of spring sunshine provided the impetus to dust off the barbecue for an impromptu alfresco lunch. I served this salad alongside a pile of venison burgers but it could easily satisfy as a main course dish. It contains many goodies for cholesterol lowering purposes such as chickpeas – your weekly pulse portion – and walnuts which contain the right kind of fat. Pomegranate seeds are great on the antioxidants and delicious too. I adore pomegranate molasses with its perfect balance of sweet and sour flavour. Mixed with no fat yoghurt and Quark, it makes a light and tasty dressing.
For 4 – 6 people:
3 medium aubergines
Olive oil spray
1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
¼ pomegranate, seeds removed
Handful or two of walnut pieces
Small bunch of mint
2 tablespoons no fat yoghurt
2 tablespoons Quark
1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
Heat your oven to 180 C.
Cut the aubergines in half lengthways and then cut each half into 3 slices lengthways.
At this point I would usually salt the aubergines for ½ hour but as I was a bit pushed for time I popped them straight into the oven. When I tasted later there was no bitterness, but I leave the salting decision up to you. If you do salt yours, remember to rinse them off well and pat dry with kitchen towel.
Place aubergine slices in a large roasting tin and spritz your olive oil spray 3 -4 times. Then mix the aubergines around a bit.
Put the roasting tin in the oven for half an hour by which time the aubergines should be tender and have taken on a bit of colour.
Remove and place on a serving dish.
In the meantime make the dressing by whisking together the yoghurt, Quark and pomegranate molasses. Set aside.
Once the aubergines are waiting on the serving dish, scatter over the rinsed chickpeas and the pomegranate seeds.
If you are using a packet of walnut pieces you can scatter them over now. If you have walnut halves, roughly chop them and then add to the salad.
Wash and dry a large handful of mint, pick off the leaves and roughly chop. Add to the salad.
Give the salad a good grinding of black pepper.
At this point your dish will be looking very appetising indeed. It seems a shame to cover it up with the dressing so I served it on the side in a bowl which I passed around for everyone to add a dollop to their portion.