I recently discovered this salad through a friend. I told her I wanted to make a new and exciting salad and she immediately recommended this. Thank goodness for friends with good taste in food! This is currently my favorite food. I've made this salad multiple times over the past 2 months and everyone who has tried it loves it. The flavors are fresh and and exciting and the herb dressing and yogurt sauce combined make the perfect accompaniment to the vegetables.
You can play around with how spicy you make it based on how many serrano peppers you use. This salad is very filling and can be served as a light main course. I love pairing this with some freshly baked za'atar flatbread. It's my perfect summer dinner. If you are against using your oven during the summer, you can also fry or saute the eggplant. Sauteing work, but the end result is a little messier looking. The taste will still be wonderful. This salad make great leftovers too, so even if it's just 2 of you eating this, go ahead and make the full recipe. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.
Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves with tender stems
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 serrano peppers (seeds intact is you prefer spicy food)
1/2 cup olive oil plus 2 tablespoons, divided
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
3/4 cup plain yogurt (I prefer full fat)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 medium eggplants (about 1½ pounds), cut into 1½” pieces
1 pound small tomatoes, cut into wedges or cherry tomatoes cut in half
1/2 pound Persian cucumbers (about 3), sliced
Place the chopped eggplant in a colander. Sprinkle with salt and toss. Let the eggplant sit for at least 30 minutes to drain. Pat dry. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 425F/220C. Place the eggplant on a large baking sheet and drizzle with 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Roast for about 30 to 45 minutes, turning the eggplant once halfway through cooking. Bake until the eggplant is cooked through. Once cook, remove from oven and allow to cool.
In a food processor, combine the cilantro, parsley, garlic, one coarsely chopped pepper, garlic and 1/4 cup olive oil. Blend until smooth and season with salt and pepper.
In a bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice and ¼ cup olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl mix together the eggplant, tomatoes, cucumber, one finely chopped pepper and half the herb dressing. Toss to coat evenly.
On a large platter, evenly spread out the yogurt sauce. Top with the salad. Drizzle with remaining herb dressing and serve.