grilled aubergine and chickpeas salad with sumac dressing

I’m a sucker for a good salad. Recently salads became my go to lunch options, I just open my fridge early in the morning and I pack my luchbox with bunch of veg with occasional addition of meat, cheese or egg. Sometimes it’s even hard to call it a salad, it rather looks like someone placed randomly some foods with splash of olive oil and cream cheese on top (oh, cream cheese is like ice cream for keto-people – yummy). But at 6am that’s sometimes the pinnacle of my abilities.

If I’m more fancy and I get myself together to prepare something on the evening before, it looks more like that.

Although this one looks and tastes much better when freshly made, rather than on a next day, when aubergine becomes a bit soggy and discoloured. Grilled aubergine (and courgette…and peppers… and mushrooms…oh and onion) tastes like heaven, so before I even managed to complete preparing this salad for photos half of it was eaten by my partner (nightmare of food blogers – while you setting up a photo shoot space, your other half shouting from the kitchen: “will you need that veg? I already ate some!”)

Definitely I need to remember that I love grilled aubergine, and use more often my grilling pan that lives on the bottom of the cupboard – forgotten. Apart from being delicious, aubergine is simply beautiful with it’s shiny dark purple firm skin, I’m always amazed by their look. Technically aubergine is a fruit, but I guess apart from bunch of pen-pushers thinking about how to classify a plant or at what angle should the banana curve, no one cares. Aubergine is versatile – it can be baked, mashed into a dip, roast, grilled and cooked – as it easily absorbs other flavours, so it works great in meals rich in spices – like curry’s and stews. Aubergines have a high water content with almost no cholesterol or fat and are a source of vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, dietary fiber, folic acid, potassium, and manganese.

They are though a part of the nightshade family – which also include tomato and bell peppers – and in some cases are known to cause severe allergic reactions. So if you’ve never tried aubergine before and you have a history of food allergies , keep it in mind.

For the lucky ones that can eat aubergine without limits here’s a delicious recipe 🙂


grilled aubergine and chickpeas salad with sumac dressing


INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 small aubergine
  • 150g can of chickpeas
  • baby salad leaves (spinach, different types of lettuce)
  • handful of cherry tomatoes
  • piece of feta cheese
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • couple tbsp olive oil

DIRECTIONS

Heat up a grill pan, drizzle a little bit of olive oil. Cut aubergine in about half inch (1-1.5cm) slices and grill couple minutes on each side. Set aside to cool down.

Prepare dressing: finely chop garlic (or use garlic press), crush it with pinch of salt, add lemon juice, olive oil, black pepper and sumac.

In a large bowl place a bunch of baby salad leaves, arrange slices of aubergine (you can chop them in smaller pieces), halves of cherry tomatoes and chickpeas. Crumble some feta cheese on top and drizzle with sumac dressing. Serve fresh.

You can store it in the fridge for up to two days, but it tastes the best when fresh.

Do you like this backdrop? You can buy it with a discount from ClubBackdrops by clicking here: https://clubbackdrops.com/go/product

omelette with apple cider vinegar inspired by Sophie Dahl

When I’m a bit fed up with scrolling Instagram looking for food inspiration, I go back to my old cookbooks. I feel like going through the pages of a cookbook is much more valuable than scrolling internet, but we got so used to tap on the phone, that we sometimes forget how pleasant is to sit on the sofa with a book. At least I forget. You just move your thumb mindlessly up and down with endless photos scrolling in front of your eyes and it can last for hours. Time spend with a book is more precious, it has its beginning and its end, and when you get to the last page you feel like you were back from a journey. A journey written in a book. Even if it’s a cookbook. That’s how I feel after flipping through Sophie Dahl’s Season to Season. Each recipe is preceded by a short story from the author’s life, so we’re not only walking through the seasons of the year but also through small but important moments from Sophie’s life. Moments and memories filled with food and people. This book shows that every meal has a story, and this story is different for each person. I’m sure that each of the meal you make has its own story to tell.

As I mentioned many times, I’m not a fan of omelettes. Crispy fried egg is not the taste I like. But I like experiments, so if you say: lets make an omelette with apple cider vinegar, I will definitely go for it! My curiosity is greater than my distaste for omelettes.

And this omelette came out better that expected, if you’re not afraid of vinegar smell in your kitchen evaporating from the pan, and furthermore – you like omelettes, without doubt you should try it. I feel like apple cider vinegar took away that slightly bland and sometimes even sickly taste of omelette. And you won’t absolutely feel any vinegar taste in it. I’ve made just one change to Sophie’s recipe, adding more onion (as I’m a definite fan of onion). Recipe required ¼ of an small onion and I added a whole one. Fortunate I had fresh pack of sumac I bought recently without a reason. I only didn’t have fresh thyme, that’s probably makes a big difference, but I had dried one. If you have fresh one, use the fresh thyme.

The process is a bit smelly as I mentioned. First you have to fry some onion (I fried them a little bit to much in this case) which is actually pretty nice smell (I don’t like when I smell like a fried onion afterwords), then you add apple cider vinegar and your kitchen will fill up with the smell of fried onion and apple cider vinegar, which maybe is not the best duo, but you end up with pretty decent omelette. Not bland at all, cheese, without any acidic after-taste. Not bad actually.

omelette with apple cider vinegar by Sophie Dahl

INGREDIENTS for one omelette:

  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ small onion (I added 1 whole small onion)
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • handful of grated mature cheddar
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme (I used dried)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • natural rock salt and coarse pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Melt one tablespoon of butter on a pan. Chop the onion and fry until soft and golden. Than add pinch of salt and 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, lower the heat and let the vinegar evaporate.

Beat eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add second tablespoon of butter to the pan and pour the eggs. Increase the heat, sprinkle your omelette with cheddar, sumac and thyme. When it’s set flip it and fry for bout 30 seconds on the other side, then serve.

Enjoy!