Chickpeas, roasted eggplant, red onion and fresh cilantro tossed in lemon vinaigrette are the fixings for a fantastic light lunch or a side dish for dinner. I made this for lunch yesterday from a BBC recipe I came across and it's one more recipe that continues my love affair with chickpeas. They're easy and cheap and even cheaper if you buy dried chickpeas in bulk. I like to buy canned chickpeas by the armful when they go on sale - so I always have plenty on hand and only a can opener away.
I particularly like the Moroccan flavours in this dish. Of course the roasted eggplant gives it a real Morocaan flair but also the paprika, cumin and cilantro. This is an interesting salad with lots of subtle flavours and ranks up there with some of my other favorites such as this recipe for chickpea goji berry salad and warm butternut and chickpea salad with tahini. The beans add protein, which makes this a complete, light meal. Perfect for the spring or summer.
Roasted Eggplant and Chickpea Salad (serves 4)
1 can (540 ml/19 oz) of chickpeas
1/2 red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon and a pinch of paprika (smoked or Hungarian)
1 teaspoon honey
juice of 1 lemon
4 tablespoons olive oil
Cube the eggplant in about one half inch cubes, toss in a little olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes or until soft.
Meanwhile, drain and rinse the chickpeas, then tip into a bowl with the roasted eggplant, garlic, red onion and cilantro. Mix the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and drizzle over the chickpeas and eggplant. Enjoy!