A Wholesome Salad

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I love aubergine; it’s so versatile which is why I pretty much always buy a couple each week. With this salad, it provides a wholesome element turning this into a really satisfying meal. I’m always putting together salads with fresh veggies and roasted aubergine with a variety of whatever else happens to be in my fridge. It’s so easy as you can just pile things on a plate while the aubergine cooks in the oven for 15-20 minutes and that’s practically all the preparation. This combo is so flavourful and it satisfies my love for plates full of contrasting textures. It’s is so nourishing while being warming and comforting with the smooth, warm aubergine and the rich nutty flavours from the toasted pine nuts (always a treat!). One more exciting element about this salad is the addition of sweetness. By toasting nuts in a drizzle of pure maple syrup, you can achieve another wonderful, yet perhaps unexpected element.

Ingredients:

1 Aubergine
1 large handful of Rocket
1/2 Courgette
1 handful of Cherry Tomatoes
5 sliced Sun-dried Tomatoes
10 Olives
A small handful of Pine Nuts
Maple Syrup

Cut the aubergine into cubes and put on a baking tray with olive oil, salt and pepper. Ensure they are all covered then put into the oven at 180 degrees for about 15/20 minutes. Move them around once or twice while they cook. Meanwhile, slice your courgette, tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes (if bought in a jar rinse them well and press them in kitchen roll) and put these, along with the rocket into your salad bowl. When your aubergine is nearly ready, put your pine nuts into a pan and let them toast for a minute before adding about a teaspoon of pure maple syrup to let them caramelise. Add the aubergine to the salad then top with the pine nuts when they are starting to turn slightly brown and give off their lovely nutty aroma. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and black pepper.

This is a base idea of a wholesome salad, one which I really enjoy, but if you happen to have some broccoli, steam this; if you have mushrooms, sauté these; if you would prefer a warmer salad, substitute the rocket for spinach and wilt it in a pan first. The options are endless!

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