Mediterranean food is one of my favourites. It truly encompasses my food philosophy in that it uses wholesome, simple and good quality ingredients and allows them shine! We all long to look like the people of Greece, Italy and Spain etc… with their beautiful glowing skin and slim physiques. People have even gone as far as following the ‘Mediterranean Diet’. There is no real trick here. It all goes back to the basics of clean eating. Heart healthy and tasty olive oils, vegetables, protein rich grains and legumes and lots of fish make up the Mediterranean cuisine. All fall under the various clean eating categories and most impotently, they are all delicious.
With colder days ahead, I think it is is really nice to serve a warm salad. What is also nice is that it also works great cold, straight out of the fridge. Throughout the week, I actually used this salad inside of an egg white omelette for a super quick breakfast or light dinner. It was also an amazing topping for my beloved avocado toast! yum…
This salad really involves just a little prep and then the oven does the work for you. A light toss in a lemony dressing with lots of fresh herbs makes it super light and refreshing. Lentils provide a boost of fiber and protein while you get lots of vitamins and antioxidants from all those veggies. I hope this salad eases you into the colder months with a smile on your face (and in your belly)! Bon appetit!
• 1 eggplant (chopped in cubes)
• 2 zucchini (sliced)
• 1 red onion (sliced)
• 2 red peppers (sliced)
• 1 tsp red chilli flakes
• 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil divided
• 1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
• 2 cups green lentils (if from can, rinse and drain well)
• 2 tbsp chopped chives
• 1 sprig fresh oregano chopped
• 1 heaped tbsp grainy dijon mustard
• 2 tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
• juice of half a lemon + zest
• 3 tbsp toasted pine nuts
• 7-8 sundried tomatoes (chopped)
• 1 tbsp capers (alternatively, you can use chopped kalamata olives)
• salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375. Prepare vegetables and place on large roasting pan.
2. Coat in 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, chilli flakes, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper.
Roast for about an hour.
3. While the vegetables are roasting, prepare your dressing and toppings.
4.In a small bowl, whisk mustard, balsamic, lemon juice + zest until combined. Slowly add 1 tbsp of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and add chopped chives and some more oregano if you desire.
5. If your pine nuts are not roasted, you can do so in a dry pan over medium heat for 5 minutes. Watch carefully or they will burn!
6. Remove vegetables from oven and place in a large bowl. Toss together with dressing, lentils, pine nuts, capers and sundried tomatoes. Top with more fresh herbs. Beautiful on its own, but would be great served with your favourite toast, fish or chicken!