This recipe can be made in a myriad of ways. The kale and roast aubergine base are lovely taste, texture and colour wise but you can add all sorts of things such as spring onion, crispy bacon, figs, toasted chick peas, any type of toasted nuts or seeds you have in the house. It looks impressive but is pretty 'thrown' together which is why I haven't been specific with ingredients as you just layer it up visually.
RECIPE FOR 8 AS A SIDE DISH OR STARTER SALAD
For the salad
6 mini aubergines
10 cherry tomatoes
4 handfuls kale
1 handful pomegranate
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
2 tsp mung beans
coconut oil (for cooking)
For the dressing
100ml greek yoghurt (coconut yoghurt for a dairy free option)
1 tsp raw honey
1 tbsp tahini
1 lemon (juice and zest)
Certain types of aubergine can be really bitter, especially the larger ones. If your aubergines are large or you have noticed bitterness in them before I recommend salting them before you start. This involves generously salting each sliced piece of aubergine. Next place them on a paper towel or in a colander over the sink for up to 1 hour. After only a few minutes you'll start to see the droplets of water being drawn out of the aubergine. Next wash the salt off and pat dry with a paper towel.
For the salad. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Start by washing the kale and picking off the stalks. Grease a baking tray with coconut oil and place the kale onto the tray. Sprinkle with oil and salt and roast for 3-5 mins - watch carefully as the leaves burn quickly. You may have to do another round depending on the size of your baking tray.
While the kale is in the oven, pour a little coconut oil into your hand and oil each eggplant. Sprinkle with salt. Place face down on a rack in the oven - this way you get the lovely scorch marks across the open side. Roast for 20-30 minutes - it will vary depending on the size of aubergine. To check doneness; they should be soft and quite shrivelled. Under cooked aubergines are pretty horrible in my opinion so it's best to air on the side of caution and leave them in longer if you're unsure.
While aubergines are roasting mix the dressing ingredients; yoghurt, lemon zest and juice, tahini and honey. Adjust quantities depending on how viscous your honey/tahini/yoghurt are and how strong a tahini flavour you like.
Cut cherry tomatoes in half. Put a pan on low heat and slowly toast the sunflower seeds until brown.
Layer up the salad by starting with a bed of kale. Next add aubergines, then cherry tomatoes, mung beans, pomegranate and toasted sunflower seeds. Lastly pour the dressing over.