Step up your salad game!
3 Tbsp (45 mL) pine nuts
6 to 8 Roma tomatoes (about 630 g), quartered 6 Tbsp (90 mL) extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tsp (5 mL) salt, divided
2 medium eggplants (about 910 g), sliced into 1/4-inch (6 mm) slabs lengthwise
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 banana pepper (about 35 g) 2 heads garlic (about 60 g)
1/4 cup (60 mL) tahini
1 Tbsp (45 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice 3 Tbsp (45 mL) extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
2 Tbsp (30 mL) water
Place the pine nuts in a small pan over medium heat. Shaking the pan frequently, toast the nuts until golden brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes with 2 Tbsp (30 mL) of olive oil and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) of salt. Toss to combine and spread out on half of a baking sheet. To take advantage of the hot oven, you’ll also roast two of the ingredients for the tahini sauce at this point; first, halve the banana pepper, brush with olive oil, and place next to the tomatoes on the baking sheet, skin sides up; then cut the tops off the garlic heads to expose the cloves, brush the tops with olive oil, wrap in tinfoil, and place next to the baking sheet on the oven rack.
Roast the pepper until the skin starts to blister and blacken. Remove from the baking sheet, but let the tomatoes keep cooking. Roast the tomatoes until they’re soft and the edges start to blacken, about 45 minutes. Roast the garlic until soft, about 35 to 45 minutes; once cooled, squeeze out the cloves.
Preheat the barbeque to medium-high heat (450°F to 500°F/230°C to 260°C). While the vegetables are roasting in the oven, generously brush the eggplant slices with the remaining 4 Tbsp (60 mL) of olive oil (or more, if needed) and season with the remaining 1/2 tsp (2 mL) of salt. Once the grill is hot, place the eggplant slices on the grill and close the lid. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the side facing the grill has nice grill marks and starts to blacken. Flip and repeat on the other side. Transfer the cooked eggplant to a dish. Continue this way until all the slices are grilled. You may want to let the grill heat up again between rounds. Cover the eggplant with foil and set aside.
To make the sauce, add the tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, roasted pepper, roasted garlic cloves, salt, and water to a blender or food processor and mix until combined. Taste and season with more salt if desired.
Gently toss the eggplant, tomatoes, and parsley together. Serve warm, drizzled with the tahini sauce and topped with the toasted pine nuts.
*Recipe excerpted from Feast: Recipes and Stories from a Canadian Roadtrip by Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller. Copyright © 2017 Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.