Eggplant Salad with Field Mushrooms

“Life is a kitchen, put on your prettiest apron & whip up something incredible” 

-anonymous

My lunch break is at awkward time slot, on top of that, I’m still trying to settle in my new role and adjust to the 30 mins lunch break instead of an hour, but fortunately a bunch of lovely people also share the same lunch break as me, and they’ve been so generously and shared their lunches with me in the last couple weeks: 1) my lunch portion looks too small, they worried that I might not eat enough; 2) they are just so fabulous, sharing, caring and love feeding people.

I’ve decided to bring a plate to show my gratitude. The only thing is that I love meats and I love cooking proteins, and one of these lovely people is a vegetarian… no problem, there is a will there is a way!  Let’s do a test run 🙂

prep time: 10m| cook time: 20m | makes 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant, cut into 1 inch thick slices
  • 350g baby potatoes, halved
  • 200g baby spinach
  • 1 red pepper, cut lengthwise into quarters
  • 4 portobello mushroom caps
  • 35g snowpeas
  • Fresh lemon, halved
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, season to taste
  • 1/2 pound feta cheese, cubed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 fresh green chili, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 pinch of white sesame (optional)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Japanese Wafu salad dressing (for convenience, I bought it from Japan-mart)

Let’s begin:

  1. Preheat oven to 325F/180C degrees, brush eggplants with olive oil and put in oven to grill until soft.
  2. In a large frying pan, put in garlic, green chilies, then add potatoes and red peppers, cook slowly until they are nice and soft (to shorten the cook time, could put potatoes into microwave for 1 or 2 mins, then cook with medium heat on frying pan to brown the potatoes). Remove potatoes from pan and put peppers into oven, mixed with eggplants.
  3. In the same frying pan, put in mushroom caps, add salt and pepper, cook until soft. Remove from pan.
  4. Put eggplants, red peppers into the frying pan with medium heat, season with salt and pepper, add baby spinach and white sesame. Remove from heat, as the heat from the eggplants and peppers will continue to cook the baby spinach.
  5. Plating: put potatoes on the bottom of the plate, put eggplants, spinach, red pepper and feta in the middle, then mushrooms caps top with some snowpeas.
  6. Squeeze lemon juice and add dressing to the salad mixtures, season with more salt and pepper if needed.

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