Recipe & Video: Mediterranean Summer Salad With Ancient Grains & Roasted Eggplant

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It may be September, but technically it's still summer. And even if the weather has cooled down a bit lately, we're holding on to those summer vibes as long as we can. One way of doing that is celebrating the glorious produce that's in season right now. This vegan grain salad is a great option.

Nutrient-rich ancient grains like quinoa and bulgur wheat are the perfect backdrop for using seasonal ingredients from the summer harvest like eggplant and tomatoes. We roasted them to deepen their flavors and tossed them with toasted pinenuts, fresh basil and a delicious dressing.

Mediterranean Summer Salad With Ancient Grains and Roasted Eggplant

(Download a printable pdf of this recipe)

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients:

1 cup dry tri-color quinoa
1/2 cup dry bulgur wheat
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes (4 cups, about 3/4 pound)
1 sweet onion, sliced thin
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
1/2 cup pine nuts
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped basil

Directions:

Place quinoa and bulgur into pot with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook until just tender, about 14 minutes. Drain excess liquid and set aside to cool.

Place rack in center of oven and preheat to 425º F. Place eggplant and onion on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, gently tossing with a spoon to coat. Roast for 25-35 minutes, until the onion is caramelized and the eggplant is tender. Set aside to cool.

Heat a small pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Add pine nuts and toast, stirring occasionally for 5-8 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Place the quinoa and bulgur in a large serving bowl. Stir in the roasted eggplant and onion. Add the grape tomatoes and pine nuts.

To make dressing, whisk together lemon juice, lemon zest, crushed garlic, apple cider vinegar, salt and remaining 2 Tablespoons olive oil in a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the grains and vegetables and toss to mix well. Top with chopped basil.

Can be stored in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Information Per Serving:
238 Calories; 13.5 grams Fat; 1.5 grams Saturated Fat; 0 mg Cholesterol; 153 mg Sodium; 27 grams Carbohydrates; 4.5 grams Fiber; 6 grams Protein

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Categories: EatWell