#2: Griddled aubergines with quinoa, kumquat, semi-dried tomatoes and cucumber salad

This is possibly the poshest/most pretentious salad I’ve ever invented. But it’s really tasty!

Quinoa is – unlike other pulses – a complete protein. It’s also rich in iron and fibre so it’s really good for you and a nice veggie option.

Ingredients:
1 aubergine
1/3 mug quinoa
a handful of kumquats
a handful of cherry tomatoes
about 10cm of cucumber (or one small Lebanese cucumber)
a few leaves romaine lettuce

For the dressing:
olive oil
1 tablespoon tahini
juice of half a lemon

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 140C/285F/gas mark 1. Cut tomatoes and place cut-side up on a baking tray, lined with greaseproof paper. Bake for around 90 minutes. You can add sugar and salt or balsamic vinegar but I think their flavour is good enough on its own.
  2. While the tomatoes are baking, rinse the quinoa well and put in a saucepan with double the amount of cold water. Add a little salt (and half a stock cube if you like), put the lid on and boil for 10-15 mins – the grains should lose their opacity but don’t over-cook or the quinoa will become gummy. Once cooked, fluff with a fork and leave to cool.
  3. Finely slice the lettuce and cube the cucumber.
  4. Slice the kumquats finely being careful to remove any pips
  5. Combine all these ingredients together in a bowl and mix well.
  6. Slice the aubergine lengthways and drizzle with olive oil. Grill on a hot griddle pan until soft and smokey.
  7. For the dressing, combine ingredients and shake well. Drizzle over the top and serve.
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