I somehow managed to pull this delicious, substantial salad out of a mostly empty fridge last night (thanking my lucky stars for the herb garden). It was so tasty I snapped a pic or two before the light fell away into dusk and sat down to devour it feeling mighty pleased with my efforts. Salty, earthy, herby and freshened up with the welcome tang of a minted greek yoghurt dressing…ticks all the boxes for me. For me this is perfect as a main but it would also be a great side salad for panfried fish or other protein.
INGREDIENTS (serves four as a side or two as a main)
1/2 small red onion – finely sliced (on a mandolin if you have one)
1 large aubergine – stalk removed and chopped into 3-4cm chunks
4 medium agria potatoes – peeled and cut into 3-4cm chunks
20g rocket leaves
Large handful flat-leaf parsley – leaves only, roughly chopped
140g haloumi – cut into 3-4cm chunks
40g almonds – lightly toasted then roughly chopped
MINTED YOGHURT DRESSING
1/2 cup greek yoghurt
1 small clove garlic – crushed to a paste with a decent pinch of sea salt
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp dried mint
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
1 tbsp good quality olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Add a teaspoon of salt to a large saucepan of water and bring to the boil.
2. Place the finely sliced onion in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside for 10 minutes then drain well on a kitchen towel and set aside.
2. Place the chopped aubergine into a colander and sprinkle with a generous pinch or two of fine sea salt. Toss to disperse the salt and set aside for 20 minutes.
3. Parboil the chopped potatoes for 5 minutes, drain well in a colander then tip back into the saucepan. Put the lid on the saucepan and give the potatoes a good shake to rough up the edges (this helps produce a crispier final product). Remove the lid and leave to steam completely dry for 5-10 minutes. Tip the potatoes into a bowl and toss well with 2 tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle over the za’atar and toss again to coat. Put the potatoes into an ovenproof dish and roast for 30 minutes until golden and crispy. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
4. While the potatoes are roasting, tip the aubergine onto a few layers of kitchen towels and pat dry well. Turn into a large bowl, drizzle over 1 tbsp olive oil and season generously with freshly ground black pepper (there will be sufficient salt left on the aubergine from the salting process so no need to add more at this stage). Spread out on an oven tray and roast for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and tender. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.
6. Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl, whisk well to combine then reserve in fridge til ready to serve.
7. Place the roasted aubergine and potatoes into a large bowl along with the rocket leaves, parsley and red onion and toss to combine.
8. When ready to serve, fry the haloumi chunks over a medium heat until golden on both sides then remove from the pan onto a kitchen towel. Put a pile of the potato and aubergine salad on each plate, drizzle generously with yoghurt sauce and top with the haloumi chunks and toasted almonds. Serve immediately.