Grilled Aubergine and Chickpea Salad with Whipped Feta and Crispy Buckwheat
This is a salad that goes with everything you’d care to barbecue and is substantial enough to keep vegetarians happy. Smoke works really well with aubergine but you could also roast the slices in the oven. Prepare the crispy buckwheat in advance as it needs to soak in water for a couple of hours before frying.
- 1 can chickpeas
- juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt and generous grinds of pepper
- 2 aubergines
- olive oil to baste
- 2 large handfuls of salad leaves (eg, rocket and baby spinach)
- 1 small handful of fresh mint
- 1/2 block goat feta (approx 80g)
- 2 - 3 tablespoons yoghurt
Crispy Fried Buckwheat*
- 2 tablespoons buckwheat
- vegetable oil to fry
*Soak buckwheat in hot but not boiling water for about 2 hours to soften. Drain well. In a small pot, heat sufficient vegetable oil to cover buckwheat. When oil is shimmering hot, add buckwheat and deep fry until crisp and golden, about 2 minutes. Drain on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Keeps fresh in air-tight container for up to a week.
Prepare barbecue or pre-heat oven.
Drain and rinse chickpeas and place in a large bowl with lemon zest and juice, garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper.
Slice aubergines into rounds, brush with oil and grill both sides (pref over charcoal) until grill-striped and soft but not mushy (or on a baking tray in oven at 200°C for about 25 minutes). Halve the larger rounds and add to chickpeas, toss well to combine.
Make dressing by blending crumbled feta and yoghurt with a stick blender or mini food processor, adjusting yoghurt to achieve consistency of thickly whipped cream.
When ready to serve, add salad leaves and mint to chickpeas and aubergine. Toss together with most of the crispy buckwheat and pile on to a shallow salad platter. Top with dollops of whipped feta and remaining buckwheat. Extra dressing can be served on the side.