Roasted Aubergine, Pomegranate & Quinoa Salad

There’s something very clean-tasting about this salad. I don’t mean that in a ‘clean eating’ kind of way – more that there’s something so fresh about it: the crisp cucumber and slightly softened red onion, offset by the warm, smokiness of the roasted aubergine. It’s a great one for the late summer days – or any time, really.

Ingredients (serves 4 as a side, or 2 as a lunch):
– 1 aubergine, sliced and cut into chunks
– 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
– 1 lemon, juiced
– 80g quinoa (uncooked weight)
– ½ cucumber, peeled into ribbons
– 100g pomegranate seeds
– 80g peppery salad leaves (I like a mix of rocket, watercress and spinach)
– 2-3 tbsp pomegranate molasses

1. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Put the aubergine chunks in a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and season. Toss to combine, then roast for 25-30 minutes, until softened and beginning to crisp at the edges.

2. Meanwhile, put the sliced red onion in a small bowl. Squeeze over the lemon juice, then pour over enough cold water to cover everything. Set aside for at least 10 minutes. Cook the quinoa to pack instructions.

3. Drain the red onion and toss with the roasted aubergine, quinoa, cucumber ribbons, pomegranate seeds and salad leaves. Drizzle with the pomegranate molasses to serve.

Tip: If taking this as a lunch, don’t drizzle over the pomegranate molasses. Pack it in a separate container to stop the leaves from going soggy.

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