I didn’t get a lot of response to my question on facebook about if you wanted a sweet or savoury recipe next so I combined the two in these “Barley, Chickpea & Date Salad Stuffed Aubergines”!
Grain/bean/fruit salads are a summer lunch staple here, typically served in romaine lettuce boats, with perhaps a little diced avocado on top.
But to turn this salad into more of a dinner dish I fell back on an old forgotten favourite- roasted aubergine.
Lots of people I know claim not to like aubergine but I’m convinced they’ve probably just been served it undercooked as it’s pretty unpleasant that way. All it takes is rubbing with a little olive oil and salt and a good stint in the oven to get that soft, sweet, melt-in-the-mouth thing going on. Much more tasty.
It was a great base for this hearty salad and I’m a little bit in love with the warm/cool contrast too.
I actually used my quick cooking 5-grains from Clearspring (Emmer Wheat, Barley, Long Grain Brown Rice, Kamut & Wholegrain Oats) but I imagine most of you don’t have that to hand so I recommend barley instead for its chewy, unique texture. If you’re gluten-free you could use sorghum, buckwheat or even just brown rice.
I adore dates, especially the big, juicy Medjool kind, and since this dish is a little Middle-Eastern in style, they felt like a more than appropriate addition.
The recipe makes a lot but it keeps well in the fridge so you can eat it over a few days no problem.
…oh, and I recommend a side of non-dairy yogurt (I used coconut) and toasted pita!