ROASTED EGGPLANT WITH TOMATOES, BARLEY + ZA'ATAR CHICKPEAS
Not sure about you, but my December always seems to involve friends gathering over delicious food and wine, celebrating the holidays and spending quality time together. This month has been, and will continue to be busy, and will include a lot of eating out. That being said, eating healthy and hearty salads at lunch will not only get me through the work day, but will also make me feel slightly less guilty about indulging in fried chicken, recently opened restaurants and korean tacos.
ROASTED EGGPLANT WITH TOMATOES, BARLEY + ZA'ATAR CHICKPEAS // makes about 4 servings
Adapted from Green Kitchen Stories
Preheat oven to 400.
2 large eggplants, diced into 1/2" pieces*
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp sumac (can be bought in a middle eastern store, or donated from your lovely Persian coworker)
1 can chickpeas, strained and rinsed
2 tbsp za'atar spice blend (black label!)
1 cup barley, cooked
1 pint small cherry tomatoes (or 2 regular tomatoes), halved
handful flat leaf parsley
juice from 1/2 a lemon
*Note: When roasting eggplant, I prefer to keep skin on every piece. Simply reuse the middle of the eggplant for something else (hello eggplants chips!)
What to do:
Start by roasting the eggplant. In a large bowl, combine eggplant pieces, 1 tbsp of olive oil, cumin and sumac. Mix well and spread onto a tinfoil lined baking sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes.
While the eggplant is cooking, combine chickpeas and za'atar in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the barley, tomatoes and lemon juice.
When the eggplant is ready, toss it into the bowl, add one final drizzle of olive oil and mix well.
Serve with fresh parsley.