This delicious Buddha Bowls recipe for a Persian-inspired aubergine and quinoa salad is packed with the bright and fresh flavours of mint, coriander and pomegranate. It's a great vegan dish to serve at a dinner party or a weekend lunch with friends.
Everyone knows aubergine and pomegranate seeds look beautiful in a bowl together, and the fresh flavours of mint and coriander punch through the softer flavours in this bowl to create something that tastes as good as it looks.
|Sunflower or groundnut oil
|baby aubergines or 1 regular aubergine, cut into rounds
|baharat spice mix
|red pepper, finely diced
|green pepper, finely diced
|yellow pepper, finely diced
|medium-large tomatoes, deseeded and finely diced
|cucumber, deseeded and finely diced
|small red onion, finely diced
|Juice of 1 lemon
|Extra-virgin olive oil (the same volume as the lemon juice)
|A small handful
|fresh mint leaves, half finely shredded
|cooked white quinoa, cooled
|fresh coriander leaves
|Seeds from ½ pomegranate
Preheat your oven to 180°C (fan) and lightly oil a baking sheet.
Slice the aubergines in half lengthways, lightly oiling them and then sprinkling them with the baharat spice mix followed by a little salt. Place cut side down on the baking sheet and cook for 30-40 minutes until the flesh is soft and they've browned on their cut side, turning them once during cooking.
While they're cooking, mix together the diced peppers, tomatoes, cucumber and onion in a bowl and pour over the lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil. Add a generous scrunch of salt, mixing thoroughly and tasting and adjusting the seasoning if needed.
Mix the shredded mint leaves with the cooked quinoa and pile into a serving bowl, topping with the chopped salad so all the juices mingle with the grains.
Mix the pomegranate molasses and date syrup together until combined. Remove the aubergine from the oven and add to the serving bowl. Spoon over the pomegranate and date dressing, and finish with the remaining mint leaves, the coriander and the pomegranate seeds.