A flavor-packed Mediterranean peasant salad with chickpeas, chopped vegetables and fried eggplant dressed in a light garlic vinaigrette! A step-by-step tutorial with photos follows this print-friendly recipe.
- 1 large eggplant, thinly sliced (no more than 1/4 inch in thickness)
- oil for frying, preferably extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup cooked or canned chickpeas, drained
- 3 tbsp Za’atar spice, divided
- 3 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 English cucumber, diced
- 1 small red onion, sliced in 1/2 moons
- 1 cup chopped parsley
- 1 cup chopped dill
For the Garlic Vinaigrette:
- 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large lime, juice of
- 1/3 cup Early Harvest extra virgin olive oil
- 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.)
- Now line another large tray or baking sheet with a paper bag topped with paper towel and place it near the stove.
- Pat the eggplant dry. Fill a large skillet about half way with canola oil. Heat on medium-high until the oil begins to gently bubble. Now fry the eggplant in the hot 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.
- Once cooled, assemble the eggplant on a serving dish. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp of Za’atar.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumbers, chickpeas, red onions, parsley and dill. Add the remaining Za’atar, and mix gently.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients. Drizzle 2 tbsp of the salad dressing over the fried eggplant; pour the remaining dressing over the chickpea salad and mix.
- Add the chickpea salad to the serving dish with the fried eggplant. Serve with pita bread and other sides likehummus or baba ganoush.
- Eggplant baking instructions: If you prefer to bake the eggplant instead, arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Drizzle generously with oil/olive oil, and roast for 20 mins or so in a 400 degrees F heated oven. Turn over half-way through.
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