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Roasted Eggplant Salad with Ancient Grains
By: Cara Hermanson, Executive Chef at Tarallucci e Vino
A Note from Chef Hermanson:
Ancient grains have made a comeback – and they provide this flavorful dish a burst of richness and warmth. Whether you’re holding on to the heat and leisure of summer or eagerly waiting for crisp autumn days, this salad makes the perfect meal. Buon appetito!
If you’re dining at Tarallucci e Vino this month, remember to stay and enjoy dessert. It’s just one of many eateries participating in our Sweet September program. Order select sweet treats and a portion of your purchase will go directly to nourishing the city’s frail aged.
- 2 cups cooked grains (farro, spelt, or barley are ideal)*
- 3 small eggplants
- 1 teaspoon oregano, picked (fresh or dry)
- 1 tablespoon good balsamic vinegar
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Small handful of basil & parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup shaved ricotta salata
- 2 cups baby arugula
- Salt & Pepper
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cut eggplant into 3/4 inch cubes. Toss with a generous amount of olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano. Spread onto a baking sheet and cook for 35-45 minutes until tender and no longer spongy. A little color is good and will add wonderful flavor.
3. When eggplant is cool, toss with cooked grains. Season with salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar
and olive oil. Mix in basil and parsley. You can let this mixture sit overnight if desired.
4. When ready to serve, toss with arugula. Top with toasted pumpkin seeds and shaved ricotta.
Serve & enjoy!
*Ancient grains make a great base for hearty salads and are very versatile! There are many brands now that offer grains with short cooking times. Choose your favorite grain: farro, spelt, buckwheat or barley and follow the cooking instructions on the package. For the most part you should bring salted water to a boil in a pot large enough to give your grains room to expand as they cook. Strain when grains are cooked through, but still retain a good texture.