Nadia Duriavig: Foodie Unplugged


Deliciously Spiced Roasted Cauliflower and Eggplant Salad

Hearty Enough to Serve as a Meal

Roasted Cauliflower Eggplant Salad

I pulled this salad together for the first time two weeks ago and it has been on my table 3 times since.  Not because I fell in love with it, because I did, but because it has been requested. Pinky swear, it was asked for, and when the house requests a vegan dish again and again, I know I have a real winner on my hands.  Of course, I immediately had to share it with you so you might have a chance to put it on your table.  

A little middle eastern, a little Mediterranean and all vegetarian, this salad makes it to my rockstar hall of fame. It is super satisfying, rich yet fresh, and paired with a side of brown rice or quinoa, it is a hearty meal that will have your family asking for seconds.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

roasted cauliflower ingredients

for salad:
1 small head Cauliflower (or 1/2 large)
2 Chinese Eggplants
1/2 cup pistachios, shelled, roasted and roughly chopped
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp dried basic curry spice blend
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp dried sage, crushed
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

for dressing:
1 tbsp Agave
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
juice of 1 lime
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste

 Wash cauliflower and break apart/chop into fairly uniform individual segments.
I like to soak my cauliflower whole in my salad spine for at least 20 minutes before I chop up to allow any dirt to settle out.  Uniform segments will ensure the cauliflower will cook evenly.

 Chop eggplant into 1 inch pieces.
I really like to use Chinese eggplant because they contain very little seeds and a lot of flesh.  Once cooked through, they become a little sweet and very creamy, rather than slimy or bitter as sometimes traditional eggplant can.

 Pre-heat oven to broil.
I love the intense heat of the broil setting for these vegetables.  For best results and to avoid burning or over-cooking the vegetables, place the baking grill at least two notches down from the top.

 Place vegetables onto a baking tray.  Dress with olive oil, dry spices and salt and pepper.  Cook on broil for 15-20 mins until cauliflower is cooked through, crispy and browned and eggplant is cooked through and creamy.
Don’t be afraid to ‘overcook’ these vegetables.  The cauliflower is best when browned and crispy giving it a creamy yet crunchy texture.  

 Transfer vegetables to a salad bowl and cool to room temperature.
This salad tastes best when served at room temperature but not cooler, slightly warm is optimal.

 Add nuts and pomegranate seeds to salad.  Loosely toss. Sprinkle with parsley.
A little bit of fresh parsley really elevates the rich flavours of this salad.

 For dressing: whisk together all dressing ingredients until incorporated and emulsified.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
I really like the fresh and tangy edge of this salad dressing.  The lime/lemon combo especially adds the right balance of sour and citrus. I start with the lemon/lime, add the mustard, parsley and agave and slowly start to whisk in the olive oil.  This allows the dressing to emulsify and thicken as the oil is added and leaves you with a fantastic and full bodied topping for your salad.

Lightly drizzle dressing over salad and serve immediately. 

Wait for compliments as your family gobbles it up and asks for seconds.

roasted eggplant cauliflower