A delightful organic recipe from our friends at Riverford Organic, bursting with the flavours, colours and textures of Mediterranean cuisine. This light, easy to prepare summer dish is perfect for an alfresco lunch or supper under starry skies. It would pair well with grilled meats and fish such as sardines and plant-based options including Riverford’s delightfully creamy humous and roasted, aromatic cauliflower.
grilled aubergine, feta, olive & mint salad
Anna’s Favourite Organic Recipe
A summer favourite of Riverford Cook Anna. Serve this salad at room temperature to enjoy the flavours at their best. Grilling the aubergines on a barbecue would be even better, heightening their smoky flavour.
about 6 tbsp pine nuts
2 garlic cloves, crushed to a paste
5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
150–200ml extra virgin olive oil
3 aubergines, sliced lengthways 5mm thick
approx. 160g feta, crumbled
a good handful of black olives, e.g. Kalamata, pitted and halved
a handful of basil leaves
a handful of mint leaves
salt and black pepper
It’s All About the Balsamic Vinegar
Lightly toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan, tossing them frequently, until golden. Make a dressing by whisking the crushed garlic with the vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. How much oil you need will depend on the strength of your balsamic vinegar and personal taste.
Hold the Salt!
Go easy on the salt as the feta and olives will all be a little salty anyway. Heat a cast-iron griddle pan until very hot. Brush or rub the aubergines with some of the dressing (just enough to coat on both sides) and grill them in batches until they are soft to their centres and have nice grill marks, about 3–4 minutes on each side.
Drizzle, Tear and Scatter!
Assemble the salad by layering the aubergine with the pine nuts, feta and olives and drizzling the remaining dressing over as you go. Finish by tearing or finely slicing the basil and mint leaves and scattering them over the top.
You could also make this recipe with grilled courgette strips.
Editor’s Tip – Look for authentic, artisan organic feta made from goats and sheep’s milk. Seriously good feta should be snowy white, fluffy, melt in the mouth and taste tangy but not too acidic.