Grilled eggplant and apple quinoa salad is a perfect combination of flavors. The quinoa brings its signature nutty, earthy flavor which is accompanied by the slightly smoky taste of grilled eggplant which is soon followed by sweet crisp bites of green apple. Peas are added for additional color and nutrition value and then everything is brought together with a delightful cumin vinaigrette. Each bite delivers a bold burst of flavor that keeps you going in for more.
- 2 1/4 cups chicken or vegetable broth, reduced-sodium
- 1 1/4 cups red quinoa
- 1 cup sugar snap peas
- 2 Granny Smith apples, cut in 1/4 inch thick rounds
- 1 eggplant, cut in 1/4 inch thick rounds
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Juice of half a lemon
- Vegetable oil
- Salt, to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- Black pepper
Begin by placing the sliced eggplant in a colander placed over a bowl. Arrange in an even layer and sprinkle generously with salt. Set this aside and leave the eggplant to drain while you make the quinoa. The salt will help draw out the moisture. Also, coat the apple slices in lemon juice to prevent browning and whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Rinse the quinoa under cold water to remove the bitter, soapy taste causing saponin. Once that is done, pour the broth into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When boiling, mix in the quinoa, add the garlic and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until all the liquid have absorbed.
After the quinoa is cooked, remove it from the heat and leave to sit covered for about 5 minutes before spreading it on a sheet pan, fluffing with a fork and leaving to cool.
Heat your grill or grill pan over medium-high. Pat the eggplant dry, brush each side with oil and season with salt and black pepper. Then toss the peas in olive oil to lightly coat.
Transfer the eggplant, apples, and peas to the grill pan and cook on both sides until grill marks develop. Put the quinoa in a large bowl or serving platter with the eggplant, apples, and peas. Drizzle with the vinaigrette, toss and serve at room temperature or chill in the fridge.