Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Wing it and see what happens!

So I had this container of wheatberries just sitting in my fridge, staring at my every time I open the door, begging me to use them in some exciting way. I was tempted to safely turn to one of my cookbooks or VegWeb, but as I stared into the fridge, just one shelf down from the wheatberries, inspiration was staring me in the face.

There on the middle shelf of our fridge sat a beautiful, round, plump eggplant. I thought, "Now I can work with this!" I rolled my sleeves up and got to work on a beautiful Eggplant-Wheatberry Salad (recipe below). I just ate a helping of said salad for lunch and it was wonderfully refreshing. The contrast of the soft eggplant with the chewy wheatberries was a wonderful combination and the spices I'd sauteed the eggplant in gave the salad an Indian flavor without the spice. Try it out and let me know what you think!

Eggplant Wheatberry Salad with Indian Spices
1 1/2 cups wheatberries
1 eggplant, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 English cucumber
1/2 red pepper
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
~2-3 Tbsp brown rice vinegar
~1/2 cup sesame oil
~1 Tbsp Asian chili paste
~1-2 Tbsp brown sugar
~1 Tbsp cumin
~2 Tbsp turmeric
salt & pepper

*Note: I did not measure anything in this recipe so these are all guestimates.

Saute the eggplant with olive oil, cumin, turmeric, and salt until nice and soft, 5-10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, toss wheatberries, cucumber, pepper, and cucumber. Add eggplant after it's cooled off a little.

In a small bowl, whisk together sesame oil, vinegar, chili paste, brown sugar and some salt. Taste and adjust to your liking. Add to the salad, tossing to coat.

Tastes best if you let it sit over night so that all of the flavors mix and the eggplant marinates a bit in the juices.

P.S. If you're interested in hearing more about my vegan baking excursions, check out the blog for my baking service, From Scratch & Sniff, which is now 100% vegan!

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