My kitchen hit 29 degrees centigrade on Sunday. I probably should have been eating something light and cool, like a leafy, cucumber-flecked plate of lettuce. But seeing as a) I hate cucumber with a passion and b) sometimes you just fancy something more filling, I fired up the grill to make this salad. What I can say is that oh it was so worth it!
Aubergines and courgettes (or eggplant and zucchini for my US readers!) are seasoned and grilled with a light brushing of oil, then mixed with chickpeas (garbanzo), spring onion (green onions), coriander and shredded halloumi, before being tossed in a cumin-paprika-lemon dressing that tastes a little smokey, savoury and filling without being too stodgy.
This would make a great barbecue side dish or vegetarian option. It’s gluten free and it’s also low carb, though you can serve with toasted pitta bread if you want to add carbs back in (watch out for gluten in pitta though, if you’re avoiding it!) It’s also well worth saving any leftovers for lunch the next day as the aubergine and courgette chunks really take on the flavour of the dressing.
1 large aubergine, sliced into thick rings
1 large courgette, cut into lengthways slices
125g halloumi, cut into slices
1 400g tin chickpeas
4-5 spring onions, chopped
1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
1/2 quantity lemon dressing from Iowa Girl Eats (recipe here)
1 level tsp cumin
1/4 tsp hot paprika
3/4 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp (for brushing aubergine & courgette)
1) Preheat the grill to a medium heat. Place the aubergine and courgette slices on the grill and brush with olive oil, before lightly seasoning with salt & pepper. Grill until browned, then turn and grill the other side, remembering to brush with oil and season again. This should take 7-10 minutes per side, depending on the heat of your grill and the thickness of the courgettes and aubergine. They should be lightly browned on the surface and the insides should be soft when you stick a fork in. Depending on the size of your grill, you may want to do this in batches.
2) After the aubergine and courgettes are done, remove and place on a plate to cool. While they are cooling, cover the grill bars with foil and arrange the halloumi slices on top, before grilling til golden. (Putting the foil over the grill bars will stop the halloumi from curling up and dropping between the bars!)
3) Tip the chickpeas, spring onions and coriander into a large bowl. Cut the courgettes and aubergine into bite sized pieces and add. Shred the halloumi into small pieces and add this too.
4) Add the cumin and the 2 types of paprika to the lemon dressing and whisk vigorously to combine well, before tipping the dressing over the salad and mixing. Check for seasoning, and you’re done!
You could also try adding roasted tomatoes or peppers to this recipe, or try swapping the chick peas for cannelini or borlotti beans.