This recipe pairs something unexpected and delicious: eggplant and tofu. But that’s what makes this salad so special, according to Eden Grinshpan, Top Chef Canada host and the woman responsible for healthy, homey food cravings on Instagram and TikTok. Search eggplant recipes and you’ll be bombarded with plates of eggplant parmesan or eggplant and tofu salads. But not with this tasty and hearty meal.
“Halloumi is such a special cheese,” she tells FLEETSTREEET. “The texture is amazing and it tastes incredible when you pan sear it, plus you get a hot element in the food you pair it with. It’s salty and has an incredible bite to it.”
Herby Eggplant Salad with Halloumi and Sesame is a go-to for Grinshpan because it’s a meal on its own. “What makes this recipe healthy and delicious is that it’s a hearty salad,” she says. “It has lots of vegetables and greens.”
Herby Eggplant Salad with Halloumi and Sesame
“I love how hearty this salad is. It has tons of flavour and texture, and for me, it is really about playing around with flavours and putting something unexpected and new that can keep things really fresh.”
- 1 medium-size eggplant, peeled decoratively in strips (see video below) and sliced half-inch thick pieces
- ¼, ⅓, ¾ cups extra virgin olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt to taste
- 2 Persian cucumbers, sliced
- ⅓ cup of parsley, chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped plus more leaves for garnish
- Zest from half orange
- Juice and zest from 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds plus more for garnish
- ½ clove of garlic, grated
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- Cracked black pepper to taste
- 1 250-gram brick halloumi, washed and dried, cut into 1/4 inch thick pieces
- 3 cups arugula
- Pre-heat the oven to 350º F.
- Place the sliced eggplant on a sheet tray, drizzle with ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil and season with kosher salt.
- Place in the pre-heated oven and roast for 25 minutes until golden on both sides. Flip about halfway. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil, cucumbers, chopped parsley, mint, orange zest, lemon zest, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, grated garlic, honey and red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and keep to the side.
- Heat up a pan on medium heat. Add sliced halloumi. Let sear on one side for a couple minutes on until golden. Flip. Sear on the other side for a couple minutes. When it is golden remove and assemble the salad.
- In a bowl place the arugula, eggplant slices and drizzle over the dressing. Cover with the halloumi, fresh mint and finish with a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and more sesame seeds. Serve warm.
More about Grinshpan
In addition to her work on Top Chef, Grinshpan is also a cook who graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in London and has a “Grande Diplome” in both Pastry and Cuisine.
“I eat and cook Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food, which just so happens to be very veg-forward, loaded with grains, vegetables and healthy fats,“ she says. “I always feel my best when I eat this way, so I do so every day. When I am busy, I always prepare by loading up my fridge with lots of vegetables and dips.”