One of my goals this year is to start experimenting with some of the unusual vegetables now available at the supermarket – some of which I’ve never heard of, and most of which I’ve never (knowingly!) eaten. In the spirit of this, I purchased some Indian Eggplant – I know, not the most adventurous move, but I’ve technically never cooked with it before. Also, I knew I wouldn’t use an entire eggplant, as it’s not my most favourite vegetable, and these vivid purple little balls caught my eye.
This recipe was inspired by my darling mother – she was raving about a quinoa salad she’d made, and while I’ve been meaning to try cooking with quinoa, I had some couscous in the cupboard I needed to use up. I’m also trying to swear off the dairy, but I did use feta with this one – it just adds that special something that I’m not sure how to replace! This salad is great freshly prepared and hot, but was even better cold the next day.
1 small zucchini
2 Indian eggplants
½ red onion
½ bell pepper (recommend yellow or orange for the added sweetness)
½ cup uncooked quinoa
¼ cup frozen peas
4 TBSP olive oil – divided
1 TBSP lemon juice
3 TBSP crumbed feta
1 tsp dried basil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Roasting the Vegetables
Preheat over to 350 degrees
Cut veggies into roughly equally sized pieces, making peppers a little smaller, so the eggplant and zucchini aren’t overcooked by the time they’re done.
Grease baking sheet with 1 TBSP of oil
Toss veggies with another TBSP or so of oil, plus salt and pepper
Spread out in a single layer on the baking sheet, try to keep pieces from touching too much, as you don’t want them to steam each other.
Bake for 20-30 mins – keep an eye out, they’ll be done when the edges just start to brown.
Allow to cool enough to touch, and chop further, if desired.
While the veggies are roasting:
Boil 1 cup of water, with peas in it.
Add couscous and cover. Remove from heat.
Allow to sit for 5 mins, then fluff with fork.
Add chopped roasted veggies, remaining olive oil (aka a splash) lemon juice, feta and season.