This recipe has been at the top of the stack in my recipe file since I cut it out of the January, 2012, issue of Bon Appetit Magazine. It was created by Yotam Ottolenghi, an Israeli-born chef who has famously combines flavors of the Middle East with textures and flavors of the Mediterranean and Asia. I have seen his beautiful cookbooks but haven’t been overly tempted to buy one until I tasted this recipe. I was in the mood for a hearty, healthy salad and this was just what I was looking for. I have made many grain salads and the unusual ingredients in this one are what caught my eye…green olives, currants, pistachios are a combination I haven’t tried before.
Eggplant roasted with a spicy North African rub and topped with herby bulgur is a match made in food heaven. The salad is wonderful by itself but when combined with the eggplant it becomes a dynamite main course that will satisfy any carnivore. If you want to serve meat with it, slices of roasted lamb would be beyond good.
There is a long list of ingredients, but most of them are pantry staples and the rest are easy to find at the local grocery. The eggplant is halved , cross hatched, and topped with olive oil and a hearty blend of spices and then roasted until tender. I served the eggplant and salad at room temperature and everybody loved it. Wouldn’t this make a fantastic summer dish for picnics and cookouts? The bulgur salad is hearty and flavorful enough to stand on its own and would be delicious with grilled chicken or ribs.
Without a yogurt garnish this dish is dairy free and vegan, and the bulgur can be substituted with quinoa to make it gluten free.