Fall Veggie Salad with Roasted Eggplant Dip

Fall Veggie Salad with Roasted Eggplant Dip

Salad bowl
Salad bowl

Without a doubt, fall has to be my favorite season - I love the weather, I love the wardrobe, but mostly I love the food.  So many comforting, healthy veggies are in season that I always feel this immense amount of pressure to get through all the delicious recipes I've earmarked before the season is over (don't even get me started on all the things you can do with pumpkin alone). Recently, The Kitchn did a post on the "12 Fall Vegetables You Should Know How to Cook", which inspired me to whip up a meal with some of my favorites from the list.

For this hearty salad, Cauliflower, Sweet Potato, Brussels Sprouts, Purple Cabbage and Kale all made the cut.  I kept things simple by roasting everything - minus the Kale -  with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.  When you choose foods that are in season, they taste so fantastic that they don't need a lot of dolling up.

I did, however, want something with a punch of flavor to pull everything together.

eggplant
eggplant

Keeping with my roasted vegetable theme, I decide to make a "dip" of sorts from roasted Eggplant. Now, truth be told, Eggplant and I have had a love/hate relationship over the years.  In the past, the texture was so unusual to me that I had a hard time enjoying it, but recently I've had it served in a number different ways that have me feeling nothing less than inspired.

eggplant dip
eggplant dip

I loosely followed David Lebovitz's Eggplant Caviar recipe, which is both simple and versatile, and really lets the Eggplant shine.  The result is a creamy, flavorful dip, which outside of a salad topper could be used as an alternative to hummus, a spread for toasted bread, or even served with grilled chicken.  I've basically been adding a heaping spoonful of the leftovers to everything I've cooked for dinner this week, so I'm sure you'll find a way to enjoy it.

Recipe: Fall Vegetable Salad with Roasted Eggplant Dip 

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 Large Sweet Potato
  • 1/2 Head of Cauliflower
  • 10 Brussels Sprouts, trimmed & halved
  • 1/4 of a head of Purple Cabbage, sliced & separated
  • 2 cups of Kale (Curly or Dino, I used Curly for this recipe), stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbs of Really good Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus 1Tbs for dressing
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Heaping serving of Eggplant Caviar 

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F
  2. Peel Sweet Potato and slice into 1/4 inch thick chips and toss with 1/2 Tbs of the olive oil.  Season with salt & pepper.
  3. Lay slices out on baking sheet and cook for 40 minutes, or until tender.
  4. Meanwhile, cut up the Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts.  Toss each with 1/2 Tbs of olive oil and keep separate in a baking pan.  Season with salt & pepper.
  5. Once the Sweet Potatoes have cooked for twenty minutes, flip the pieces and put the Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts in to join them for the remainder of the time.
  6. Slice the Cabbage and chop the Kale.
  7. Add the Kale to a serving bowl and add the remainder of the olive oil, plus salt and pepper.  Massage the Kale until it is saturated and softened.
  8. Once all the veggies are done cooking, serve on top of the Kale with the Cabbage.
  9. Finish with a serving of the Eggplant Caviar.
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