Recipes

Aubergine, chickpea and broccoli salad with labneh

23rd July 2019

This grilled aubergine, roasted chickpea and broccoli salad with homemade labneh is truly delicious and nourishing! I am calling all salad and veggie lovers: this recipe is easy to make and to adapt to seasons and tastes. You will want to make it over and over again!

Grilled aubergine, roasted chickpea and broccoli salad with homemade labneh soft cheese

This recipe is one of the many wonderful dishes you will find in The Joyful Home Cook, the latest cookbook by British food writer Rosie Birkett, which came out earlier this year.

I had the pleasure of getting to know Rosie during the 18-month collaboration with Taylors of Harrogate (Extraordinary Journey) as we both joined the campaign as content creators. I spent a week with Rosie in Rwanda earlier this year, not long before her new cookbook was published.

Grilled aubergine, roasted chickpea and broccoli salad with homemade labneh soft cheese

Naturally, Rosie was very excited about the book finally coming out. I asked her what the inspiration behind The Joyful Home Cook was and she explained that the recipes featured in it were a true representation of how she cooked at home every day.

The Joyful Home Cook is an inspirational collection of resourceful and delicious recipes steeped in a fundamentally practical way of approaching home cooking; returning to basics, minimising waste, following the seasons and keeping things simple to create effortless meals packed with flavour.

Grilled aubergine, roasted chickpea and broccoli salad with homemade labneh soft cheese

Writing a cookbook is no mean feat and I know how hard Rosie worked on creating, testing and perfecting over 140 recipes featured in The Joyful Home Cook. The book is beautiful and a fantastic resource for anyone who loves to cook at home – wholesome, healthy, fuss-free meals, tasty meals.

Many recipes will teach you underused cooking skills like curing, fermenting, pickling and preserving. Rosie has a true passion for all of that: I still remember that time in a restaurant in Harrogate when she asked the owner if she could have a kombucha scoby to make her own kombucha in London!. In The Joyful Home Cook, she shares all her top tips and tricks!

Grilled aubergine, roasted chickpea and broccoli salad with homemade labneh soft cheese

After the release of The Joyful Home Cook, the publisher HarperCollins sent me a copy to review. As I flicked through the pages, one photo of aubergines caught my attention…it looked so delicious, I knew I had to make this recipe. My interest grew even more when I read that this salad was served with homemade labneh, something Rosie’s book also had a recipe for!

I enjoyed making – and eating – this grilled aubergine, roasted chickpea and broccoli salad with homemade labneh so much!

Grilled aubergine, roasted chickpea and broccoli salad with homemade labneh soft cheese

Note: the original recipe is made with fried aubergines, but I chose to grill them in a pan without using any oil. The truth is that I hate frying (I am always scared of burning myself and hate cleaning the pan afterwards).  

Homemade Labneh

Rosie recommends using 500 grams of the best yoghurt you can find: live, full-fat, probiotic, Greek or natural. Mix the yoghurt with a good pinch of salt. Line a sieve with a piece of muslin or a clean J-cloth and rest over a deep bowl. Spoon in the yoghurt, cover and put in the fridge to strain for anything between 3 and 8 hours (or overnight). Leave it to strain for longer if you’re looking for a firmer consistency. You’ll be left with a fresh, soft cheese-like substance (the labneh) and liquid in the bowl (whey).

Grilled aubergine, roasted chickpea and broccoli salad with homemade labneh soft cheese

Grilled aubergine, roasted chickpea and broccoli salad

Ingredients

  • 1 large aubergine, cut into 1cm slices
  • sea salt
  • 1x 400g tin chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 head broccoli, broken into florets
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • handful of fresh dill
  • handful of fresh mint
  • 150g homemade labneh
  • salt and pepper

For the dressing

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp tahini

To serve

  • 2 toasted pitta breads

Preparation

Place the aubergine slices over the sink or a bowl and scatter the sea salt all over. Leave it to sit and drain the moisture from the aubergine for about 30 minutes. Afterwards, wipe off any excess water from the aubergines with kitchen paper.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan. Dry the chickpeas with a clean tea towel and tip them into a roasting tray. Add the broccoli florets, chilli flakes, paprika, salt and pepper. Season with the extra virgin olive oil and toss together. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

Cook the aubergine slices in a clean frying pan, skillet or griddle pan over low-medium heat. Cook around 3-4 minutes each side, or until the aubergines are soft and nicely browned. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper and set aside.

To make the dressing, put all the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and blitz until you have a loose sauce (add a teaspoon of water or olive oil if too thick). Toss the roasted chickpeas and broccoli in a bowl with a little of the dressing.

Spread the labneh over a serving platter and top with the roasted vegetable salad, then add the grilled aubergines and roughly chopped fresh herbs (parsley, dill and mint).

Rosie suggests serving the salad with fermented turnips, pink pickled onions and fermented green chillies. You can find all of the recipes to make these in her book The Joyful Home Cook. 

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Grilled aubergine, roasted chickpea and broccoli salad with homemade labneh soft cheese

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