The humble aubergine may have received a little negative press recently in relation to arthritus. And I say little because it really is little. Self-taught nutrionists make up a very small % of the actual nutritional advice out there and are the ones without any real case-controlled studies to back their points. Research is also very limited and overall most of us seem to get on ok with the aubergine! Including aubergines in your diet is incredibly healthy and a great way for those working on weight loss or controlling type 2 diabetes. They are high in fibre and low in fat, it keeps the digestive system regular (great for those who suffer from IBS) and it lowers cholesterol. It has a good source of vitamins such as B1, B2 and potassium and high in minerals such as copper and magnesium.
Aubergines are an important part of my diet. First of all, I love them! They are so delicious and versatile that you can add them to more or less anything. But also because they are quite a meaty vegetable that they can make a simple meal feel substantial keeping you full and with energy for much longer and avoiding any snacking. I love them soaked in olive oil in a Greek Briam, added to a Tagine or a Veggie Curry or as part of an antipasti.
This Halloumi and Aubergine Salad (with radish and celery) is a summer favourite of mine. It is incredibly filling and absolutely delicious. It also involves just one pan and a little bit of chopping. I gently cook the aubergines and celery on a low heat in a bit of a olive oil so that they are gently cooked and not fried. The aubergines also soak up the olive oil nicely without the oil simply just dripping off them. I then add the aubergines and celery to a bowl with some chopped radishes, a big bunch of fresh parsley and coriander, red onions and lemon juice. I cook the halloumi in the pan that the aubergines were cooking in without adding any more oil. I then season the whole thing with some sumac, a tangy and lemony spice often used in middle eastern cuisine.
- 1 aubergine (diced into small chunks)
- 2 sticks celery (finely sliced)
- Handful of radishes (sliced)
- Bunch of coriander (finely chopped)
- Bunch of parsley (finely chopped)
- 1 red onion (peeled and finely sliced)
- 3 cloves garlic (crushed)
- Juice of haf a lemon
- 1 tspn sumac
- 250g halloumi cheese (sliced, into about 6-8 medium/ thick slices)
- 1 large red chilli (finely sliced)
- Olive oil
- Salt/ pepper
- Heat a dash of olive in the pan (you will add more later) and then add the aubergines. Let them cook on a gentle heat for a few mins then add about 2 tbpsn olive oil to the pan. Mix the aubergines with oil well and then continue to cook on a gentle heat for around 5 mins. Add the celery, red chilli and garlic to the pan and mix well and cook for another 3-4 mins (the celery wants to keep some crunch).
- In a mixing bowl add the radishes, fresh herbs and red onions. Then add the aubergines and celery to the bowl. In the same pan add the halloumi and cook on each side for around 3 mins, until golden brown on topped and starting to soften.
- Take the halloumi out of the pan and slice up. Add to the mixing bowl with the fresh herbs, lemon juice and sumac. Mix well and then season with a bit of salt and pepper before mixing everything together again and then plate up!