I’ve been obsessed with harissa ever since I first bought some at Borough Market in London. I’ve been looking for ways to incorporate this sultry little spice paste into almost everything I’ve been cooking lately, and it has worked deliciously in a vinaigrette.
Be sure to dress the salad only just before serving so that the leaves stay fresh.
Serves: 6 as a side
- 1 large aubergine
- 150g pine nuts
- 8 Medjool dates
- 1 handful rocket
- 2 generous handfuls baby spinach
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 tsp harissa
- 1 lemon
- Slice the aubergine (but not too finely – the slices will shrink when roasted) and rinse with cold water. Sprinkle generously with salt and place in a colander for about 15 minutes. Then roast in a preheated oven at 180°C for 30 minutes.
- Place the pine nuts on a baking tray and roast at the same time as the aubergine, but for no longer than 15 minutes. Watch not to burn them as they can quickly catch heat.
- Pit the Medjool dates and slice each into quarters – you don’t want the dates to be too big with each mouthful because they are quite sweet and would overpower the harissa flavour.
- In a small bowl, add the harissa to the olive oil and give it a quick stir.
- Once the pine nuts and aubergine have been removed from the oven and are cool, combine all the salad ingredients and pour over the harissa vinaigrette.
- Squeeze the lemon over the salad and toss to combine. Grind a generous amount of black pepper over the top just before serving.
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