Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Aubergine, Bulghur & Lentil Salad with Fresh Salsa

Photo of Aubergine, Bulghur & Lentil Salad with Fresh Salsa

Things I love about Christmas:
  • Christmas cheer (and Christmas carols!)
  • Spoiling my loved ones
  • Sunny days & the prospect of achieving that elusive bronze glow (okay who am I kidding on this one... I'm usually the one who blinds the rest of humanity with my still snow white legs by the end of summer)
  • (Over)indulging in food of every kind and, more to the point, sinful desserts of every kind

     Things I don't like about Christmas:
    • Having to listen to other people's Christmas cheer while I'm working/sleeping
    • The mad rush in the mall trying to find Christmas gifts that will a) be appreciated and b) not break the bank
    • Achieving a lobstery red glow in the summer sun whilst in pursuit of a bronze glow
    • Starting the New Year 1 dress size larger owing to all the (over)indulgence of the festive season
    I don't have satisfactory solutions to the first 3 issues (yet), but I think I've found the solution to the last one. Yes sirree, my body is stockpiling on VVM's at the moment so that I have a buffer for the overindulgences that is bound to follow in the days to come. This salad is a prime example of a VVM. (Very Virtuous Meal) The unexpected bonus? It's also mighty tasty. The variety in textures - nutty chewy grains vs creamy aubergines vs crunchy veggies - ensures that this combo is anything but boring.

    Aubergine, Bulghur & Lentil Salad with Fresh Salsa

    Adapted from Food & Wine

    Serves 6 - 8

    1 cup dried lentils
    1 tsp salt
    1 cup bulghur
    2 tbsp olive oil
    1/2 medium onion, finely diced
    1/2 tsp minced garlic
    1 medium aubergine, finely diced
    2 tsp sambal oelek
    1 tbsp fruit chutney
    2 tbsp chopped parsley
    1/4 cup chopped coriander
    1 medium yellow bellpepper, finely diced
    3 medium tomatoes, finely diced
    1 cucumber, finely diced
    salt & pepper to taste
    baby salad leaves, optional
    sweet chilli sauce, optional

    1. Add lentils, salt and 3 1/2 cups of boiling water to a medium sized pot. Bring to the boil, then turn down heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Add bulghur and cook another 10 minutes until both the lentils and bulghur is cooked through. Drain and set aside to cool down slightly
    2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp oil in a frying pan. Add onions and garlic, saute 2 - 3 minutes, then add aubergine along with the rest of the oil. Fry for 3 - 4 minutes, then add sambal oelek, chutney and 1 1/2 cups of water. Season to taste with salt and cook over medium-high heat until liquid has been absorbed and aubergine is soft.
    3. Add the aubergine to the lentil/bulghur mixture and stir through gently. Add to this the chopped up herbs, taste and adjust seasoning if required. Set aside.
    4. In a seperate bowl assemble the salsa by mixing the yellow bellpepper, tomatoes and cucumber. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    5. To serve - arrange salad greens on plates, top with a generous spoonful of the lentils and some salsa and drizzle with sweet chilli sauce

    Nutritional info (per serving): Calories 250.5, Total fat 4.8 g, Saturated fat 0.6 g, Polyunsaturated fat 0.6 g, Monounsaturated fat 2.9 g, Cholesterol 0.0 mg, Sodium 377.5 mg, Potassium 666.7 mg, Total carbohydrate 42.4 g, Dietary fiber 11.7 g, Sugars 1.0 g, Protein 11.1 g

    Good source of: Vitamin C 74.4 %, Folate 41.0 %, Manganese 28.8 %, Iron 17.2 %


    Yum Yucky on December 08, 2009 9:22 pm said...

    Bulgur bulgur. I've never tried bulgur.

    And no way I'm going to the mall until mid-January. Last year I got stock in a mall parking lot traffic jam. I took me 45-minutes to get out.

    Marisa on December 08, 2009 10:25 pm said...

    Yup, my first time with bulghur too!

    Malls are a nightmare around this time of the year. Luckily all my Christmas shopping is done (early, for a change).

    MaryMoh on December 09, 2009 12:35 pm said...

    That's such a colourful, healthy, delicious salad. I would love that for lunch. I haven't tried bulgur wheat. I must try soon.

    Marisa on December 09, 2009 1:53 pm said...

    Do yourself a favour and give it a try - a little goes a long way and it adds a delicious new dimension to salads. I'm a convert!

    Robyn MacLarty on December 09, 2009 4:56 pm said...

    You've really got my number. This is the kind of salad I LOVE. BTW, where do you buy sambal oelek?

    Jamie Dougherty on December 09, 2009 8:24 pm said...

    I did a similar thing with quinoa and it worked beautifully :)

    Marisa on December 09, 2009 10:42 pm said...

    Jamie - yes, I can imagine that quinoa would fit the bill perfectly too.

    Robyn - I usually find asian ingredients at my local Spar. They've got quite a good selection. I've also seen some good variety at some of the better Pick 'n Pay stores.

    browniegirl on December 14, 2009 1:40 pm said...

    YUMYUM!!! This is right up my street. I'm so glad I found you :o) xxx

    Marisa on December 14, 2009 2:03 pm said...

    Likewise browniegirl! It's always great to discover a fellow SA foodie. :-)

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