I'm a bit obsessed with grilling veggies on the BBQ to turn into delicious smokey dishes. The last recipe I wrote here was a Courgette Babaganoush recipe, and here I find myself writing a recipe for Aubergine, using the same technique to create this delicious Smokey Aubergine & Tabbouleh Salad
Whoops. Sorry. (actually- not sorry)
The thing is, it's such a delicious way of cooking veggies, that while the weather holds, I'm going using the BBQ as much as possible. Which means lots of yummy recipes like this have to be eaten by us. Oh. Dear.
If you don't have a BBQ, just use your grill for the same effect. All you do is grill or BBQ the Aubergine whole until the skin is blackened all over (turn it a few times to achieve this) and nearly crispy. This gives the flesh inside the smokey flavour and silky texture that I'm obsessed with. Make sure you pierce the skin to avoid the whole thing exploding as the steam builds up inside (it's happened to me! what a mess!).
Tabbouleh is usually made with bulgar wheat, but when I went to make this recipe, I realised I'd forgotten to buy any. Oops... So I used buckwheat groats which I happened to have hanging around in the cupboard instead. Which co-incedentally makes this recipe gluten free- and is totally delicious too! Win!
The tangy tabbouleh salad that the smoked aubergine is paired with makes a great flavour combination. I like to pile it on a plate, then the whole is topped off with a tahini dressing and a sprinkle of Za'atar. Za'atar is a glorious thyme based herb mix that's popular throughout the Middle East. The Za'atar mix we have used is created and sold by a lovely collective called Zaytoun who help small Palestinian farmers create a sustainable income.
I love serving this Smokey Aubergine & Tabbouleh Salad as part of a long lunch, with some flat breads, some hummus and perhaps a zingy white wine.
Smokey Aubergine & Tabbouleh Salad
- 2 Aubergines
For the Tabbouleh
- 150 g Bulghar Wheat OR Buckwheat (use quick cook buckwheat groats for a gluten free option)
- large bunch flat leafed parsley (you want to end up with around 1 cup of leaves)
- 10-15 cherry tomatoes
- 4 spring onions (or half a red onion)
- juice 1 lemon
- 1 Tbs good quality extra virgin olive oil
For the Tahini Sauce
- 2 teaspoon Za'atar
- Pierce the skin of the Aubergines and grill or BBQ until they are completely blackened and burnt on the outside.
- Once cooled so you can handle them, scoop /pull out the now soft and smokey flesh in long ribbons.
For the Tabbouleh
- Soak the Bulghar wheat or Buckwheat in boiling water (or as per the instructions)
- Finely chop the Parsley and Spring onions
- Quarter the cherry tomatoes
- Dress with the juice of the lemon, olive oil & salt.
For the Tahini Dressing
- Mix all the ingredients together until smooth. You might need to add extra water to achieve a smooth creamy consistency.
- Pile the tabbouleh onto a large plate.
- Arange the smoked Aubergine pieces over the tabbouleh then drizzle with the tahini dressing & sprinkle the Za'atar over the top.