As a chef and registered dietitian, I am always creating delicious, healthful and satisfying recipes. I believe food should not only be flavorful and nutritious, but also bright and colorful. And this recipe meets all of those criteria.
Inspired by the flavors of the ever-popular Mediterranean diet, this recipe is hearty enough when served as a vegetarian entrée, or perfect served as a side dish with a lean protein such as grilled chicken or roasted shrimp. Eggplant is a wildly healthy vegetable: low in calories, rich in B vitamins and an excellent source of fiber.
If you don’t care for mint and parsley, swap them with any fresh herbs you prefer. Dill or cilantro would bring interesting flavors to this dish. And for those who wish to add avocado, use it as a garnish for extra buttery flavor.
As with most vegetable dishes, this recipe does improve with age. Leftovers are delicious, but the acidity in the lemon will diminish the look of the vegetables. If you are making for guests, I would suggest serving this fresh and keeping the leftovers for yourself. After all … waste not, want not.
What’s your favorite way to eat eggplant? Please let me know how you like this recipe if you try it at home! Hope you enjoy.
Mediterranean Herb Salad
Recipe developed by Megan Wolf, MS, RD
1 large eggplant
1 cucumber, peeled
1 bunch scallions
1 lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 bunch mint
1 bunch parsley
1 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Salt and pepper to taste
- Slice eggplant into rounds and generously salt, place on a cutting board and let sweat about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Wipe excess salt and liquid from eggplant, dice into similarly sized pieces. Place eggplant on a large baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, bake 20 minutes, toss eggplant and bake another 10-20 minutes or until browned
- Halve and remove seeds from tomatoes and cucumber, dice into bite sized pieces, set aside.
- Whisk remaining tablespoon of olive oil and lemon juice until well combined.
- Julienne parsley and mint, and thinly slice scallions. Set aside.
- Remove eggplant from oven.
- In a large bowl, mix eggplant, tomatoes, cucumbers, scallions, chickpeas, feta, lemon vinaigrette and fresh herbs, toss to combine and season to taste.
- Eat immediately or refrigerate.