If you are after a tasty winter salad to pair with meats or grains, this is a recipe that literally all fell together into a wonderful combo while i was experimenting with in season eggplants bought on the roadside.
Makes salad for 4-5 people
2 x eggplants
1/4 cup olive or rice bran oil (depending on what you like to cook with)
1/4 cup dark balsamic vinegar
Salt and Pepper
Half a pomegranate
100g goats feta
4 fresh figs, or 6 dried figs
If you are using dried figs, place the figs in a bowl and cover with boiling water. We're soaking them so they rehydrate.
Heat oven to 160°C.
Slice the eggplants into 1.5cm discs. Spread out in a large oven proof dish and drizzle with the oil. Toss and turn the eggplant in the oil so all sides are covered. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the eggplant and season with lots of salt and pepper. Place in oven for 1 hour, turning the eggplant discs over after 30 minutes.
Once the eggplant is cooked, remove from the oven and carefully lay on a tray to cool to room temperature.
Remove the pomegranate seeds by making a cut in the top of the fruit as if you were going to cut it in half. Only cut down about 3cm, and then slide your thumbs into the cut and pull the halves apart. This way you expose the seeds in a way that is easy to pick them out. Remove all the seeds from half and put aside in a bowl. Gladwrap and refrigerate the other half for something else.
Crumble the goats feta into about 1cm bits. Remove the soaked figs from the water and tear each into 2 or 3 bits, exposing the juicy centre and seeds. If you are using fresh figs, tear each fig into quarters.
Now you are ready to construct your salad - take the cooled eggplant, and tear each disc in half and cover the bottom of a salad bowl with one third of the roast eggplant. Sprinkle over some feta and pomegranate, then another third of eggplant, more feta and pomegranate, finish off the eggplant, feta and pomegranate for the last layer and arrange your figs on top.
No dressing required as the eggplant is juicy, the feta creamy and salty, the pomegranate tart and the figs sweet.