Crispy roasted aubergines and tomatoes loaded on top of salad greens and orzo and then scattered with creamy feta and fresh herbs. This is a hearty and comforting Aubergine Salad that is easy to adapt and great for feeding a crowd.
Aubergine (also known as eggplant) might be a vegetable that divides opinions, but we LOVE it. It's such a meaty vegetable, making it perfect for a meat-free meal and when roasted it totally transforms the flavour and texture. If you think you don't like aubergines, then you HAVE to try this aubergine salad.
Why you will love it
- So easy - Although it is a little time consuming roasting the vegetables, it is so worth it for the flavour. But it's as easy as just putting them in the oven and waiting. Everything else is just mixed together in a bowl.
- Full of flavour - The flavour of the aubergine is just amazing!
- Adaptable - This is a fairly simple salad, with just a few ingredients. But really, any salad ingredients go. We have given lots of ways to adapt it below.
- Versatile - We love this aubergine salad recipe by itself, but it's also great for feeding a crowd when served with some roast meat. We have given lots of ideas below.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Aubergine - This is the star of the dish. We have give lots of tips for picking the perfect aubergine in the FAQ secion below.
- Tomatoes - These add a nice burst of flavour and some juiciness too and when roasted it really brings out their sweetness. If you didn't want to roast tomatoes, you could add sun-dried tomatoes instead.
- Orzo - This helps to make the salad more filling. You could add another pasta though, but we like orzo because of how small it is.
- Lettuce - Anything goes here. We used a mixture of butterhead and watercress.
- Lemon - Really lightens up the whole salad and adds some freshness.
- Oil - Use a good quality extra virgin olive oil.
- Balsamic - Just like the oil, try to use the best quality you can, as you will be able to taste the difference.
- Salt and pepper - Generously season.
- Feta - Everything is better with feta, right? You can leave this out if you want to keep the salad vegan.
- Parsley and pine nuts - These are optional for serving, but the parsley adds a freshness to the finished salad and the pine nuts a lovely crunch.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make aubergine salad - Step by step
Prep: Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°C(fan)/400°F/Gas 6.
One: Put the aubergine wedges onto a roasting tin and drizzle over the oil. Mix well so that all the aubergine is coated. Put into the oven for 20 minutes.
Two: Cook the orzo according to the packet instructions.
Three: Add the cherry tomatoes to the aubergines and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.
Four: Put the salad leaves into a mixing bowl. Add the oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix well to coat all the leaves.
Five: Transfer the dressed salad to a serving bowl (a). Add the cooked orzo (b), roasted aubergines and tomatoes (c), feta, parsley and pine nuts (d).
What to serve with Aubergine Salad
We would happily eat this on its own, as it really does have everything. You might want to add some protein to the salad itself, and we have given some options for that below.
The great thing about this roasted aubergine salad is that it is so easy to adapt. Start with the base salad greens - pretty much anything goes here. You could add some spinach and kale for a green vegetable boost.
Feel free to add other vegetables to the roasting pan along with the aubergines. Courgette (zucchini), bell peppers and red onion all work well.
If you wanted to add some extra protein to the salad, then some cooked beans like chickpeas or butter beans would work, or some cooked lentils.
We made the salad filling by adding some orzo, but other grains like rice, couscous or bulgar wheat would work too.
When it comes to the salad dressing, we kept it simple with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. However, you could use our Tahini Dressing, which goes really well with the aubergine.
Frequently Asked Questions
You should look for aubergines with smooth, shiny skin. They should be uniform in colour and feel heavy for their size. To test the ripeness of an aubergine, gently press the skin with your finger - if it leaves an imprint, it is ripe. Smaller aubergines tend to be less bitter and have thinner skin and less seeds.
Avoid any aubergines that are bruised, wrinkled or have blemishes. They are in season throughout the year, but they are at their best around August/September.
No, you don't have to, but it does give them the most incredible flavour. You could fry them in a pan instead.
If you have any leftovers, they will store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. It might get a little soggy after that.
More salad recipes
- 100 g Orzo
- 2 Aubergines - large; cut into wedges
- 15 Cherry tomatoes
- 120 g Mixed lettuce leaves
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil - for the aubergine
- 2 tablespoon Olive oil - for the dressing
- 2 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
- 1 Lemon - juice only
- 1 pinch Sea salt
- 1 pinch Black pepper
- 60 g Feta
- Fresh parsley - optional; to serve
- Pine nuts - optional; to serve
- Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°C(fan)/400°F/Gas 6.
- Put 2 Aubergines (cut into wedges) onto a roasting tin and drizzle over 1 tablespoon Olive oil. Mix well so that all the aubergine is coated. Put into the oven for 20 minutes.
- Cook 100 g Orzo according to the packet instructions.
- Add 15 Cherry tomatoes to the aubergines and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.
- Put 120 g Mixed lettuce leaves into a mixing bowl. Add 2 tablespoon Olive oil, 2 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar, juice of 1 Lemon, 1 pinch Sea salt and 1 pinch Black pepper. Mix well to coat all the leaves.
- Transfer the dressed salad to a serving bowl. Add the cooked orzo, roasted aubergines and tomatoes, 60 g Feta, Fresh parsley and Pine nuts.
- If you wanted to add some extra flavour, you could put a seasoning blend to the roasted vegetables. Why not try our Peri Peri Seasoning?
- We topped this salad with feta, but Stilton or burrata work well.
- You can swap the pine nuts for seeds like pumpkin or sunflower or even add some toasted walnuts or pecans.
- Add the dressing at the last minute to stop the salad from getting soggy.
- If you like some spice in your meals, then add a sprinkle or red chilli flakes before serving.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.