Za’atar Grilled Aubergine Salad

4 small aubergines
Olive Oil
1 + tablespoon za’atar
1 cup beluga lentils, preferably soaked overnight
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup sultanas, golden raisins or currants
1 cup packed fresh herbs; mint, parsley, and dill
Juice and zest of one lemon
Black pepper and salt to taste

Preparation Method
Slice the aubergine into rounds, place in a colander and sprinkle generously with sea salt. Set aside for 30 minutes, or up to an hour, flipping over every now and then.

Rinse and drain the lentils, and place in a large pot with 4 cups of water. Bring to boil, then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes, until the lentils are cooked al dente. Don’t over cook, or you will have a mushy salad. Drain any excess water and rinse the lentils clean. Set aside. (If you are using a different type of lentil, cooking times will vary so just read the instructions).

Preheat your grill pan to medium high heat, and lightly press the aubergine with kitchen towel to remove any excess water. Brush the sides generously with olive oil and sprinkle with za’atar. Place on a grill and flip after 5-7 minutes, then cook for another 5-7 minutes. Brush with extra olive oil if looking dry. It is done when the meaty center is soft and tender.

Toss the cooked, cooled lentils with all the herbs, sultanas and toasted pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper and dress with a little olive oil and fresh lemon juice.

Top with grilled aubergine, sprinkle with extra za’atar and lemon zest and serve with hummus or tahini dressing.

Source: Happy Hearted Kitchen

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