This Roasted Summer Vegetable Salad is lifted to new gastronomical heights by the addition of the smokey Muhuammara further accentuated by the smoked cheddar.
This salad is sensational to serve as part of a Middle Eastern Feast with kofta, kebabs and Fattoush Salad. Or you can just serve it as part of a buffet or take it to a friends barbecue as this is another salad that travels well.
Muhammara can also be served in a mezze plate alongside your humous and baba ganoush.
For the summer vegetables…
- 500 grams baby eggplants (aubergine)
- 200 grams large dark green zucchini (courgette) (2 medium)
- 200 grams patty pan squash (summer squash) (4-5 squash)
- 120 grams red capsicum (bell pepper) (1 medium)
- 3-4 tbsps olive oil
- 2 tsps cumin powder
For the salad..
- 250 grams golden grape tomatoes
- ⅓ cup smoked cheddar (shredded)
- ½ cup parsley leaves
- 4 tbsps Muhammara*
- ⅓ cup lemon juice
To roast your vegetables…
- Preheat your oven to 200°C (400°F). Line one or two large baking trays with baking paper.
- Wash the eggplants, remove the tops and ends and then cut them in half. I like to salt my eggplants before cooking as this removes the excess water and reduces the eggplants ability to absorb oil. Place the eggplants, one layer at a time, in a colander and sprinkle with some coarse salt. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes (you should see water beads forming) then a pat dry with a towel to remove the excess water and salt. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Wash the zucchini and patty pan squash, remove the tops, ends and any damaged parts. Add to your bowl.
- Cut the zucchini into rounds and the patty pan squash into quarters. Add to your bowl.
- Wash the red capsicum remove the core and seeds, then cut into a large dice. Add to your bowl.
- Drizzle all your vegetables with some olive oil and the cumin powder, season with salt and pepper. Toss until they are all well coated with the oil and cumin, arrange the vegetables on 1 or 2 baking trays, spread out evenly and do not overcrowd (we want them to roast and not stew).
- Place in the middle rack of your oven and cook until golden brown (approximately 20-30 minutes). Remove and allow to cool slightly. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
To make your salad….
- Wash your parsley leaves, shake to remove excess water, pat dry and chop roughly.
- Wash the golden grape tomatoes then cut in half, add to your bowl along with the chopped parsley and smoked cheese.
Putting it all together…
- Add the Muhammara and lemon juice to the vegetables and toss until well combined.
- Arrange in a salad bowl and serve .
The video in this recipe is courtesy of Chef Tips.
So what is Muhammara
Muhammara is a red pepper dip that originated from Aleppo, Syria (also known for its chillies). It is made by blending roasted red peppers walnuts and Aleppo chilli.
I like to make my own Muhammara from a Good Food
Choosing and Prepping Summer Vegetables…
Capsicum – Bell Peppers
Select capsicums that are firm to the touch, deeply coloured and free of wrinkles, soft spots or other indications of age or decay. Their shape or size does not usually indicate their quality.
Simply cut your capsicum in half and remove the core, seeds and inner ribs with a parring or any other small knife. Place the glossy side of the capsicum face down (it is much easier to slice this way as your knife does not slip) then slice into cubes (try it with a serrated knife as it is much easier.
Eggplant – Aubergine
Look for an eggplant that is heavy for its size with a glossy skin and no soft spots, cuts or bruises. Use within a few days of purchase to avoid bitterness. Be careful when storing as if they become too cool then their seed will harden and their flesh will become bitter. However leaving them in the heat for too long will cause their moisture to evaporate and flesh to soften.
Remove the tops and ends and any blemished areas with your paring knife, then just slice them the way that you like. Then salt as per the recipe or video.
Zucchini and Patty Pan Squash
Choose glossy skinned squash and zucchini with few blemishes. Avoid squash and zucchini that are soft or spongy.
There is little to do in the preparation of zucchini and squash just wash in cold water and cut off any blemishes, the tops and ends. For larger varieties, you may need to remove the seeds.
Then simple quarter the patty pan squash and cut the zucchini into 1.5cm (half inch rounds).