This month we’re trialing a number of recipes from the interesting new cookbook by Helen Thomas; The Aubergine Cookbook– look out for our review at the end of the month and for your chance to win a copy but over the next couple of weeks we’re delighted to give you a sneak peak of what you can expect.

This recipe, taken from the new book, is a a fantastically versatile recipe; it’s filling enough to be a main, includes incredible textures and combinations of flavours that it would make for an interesting starter or side dish, and it’s amazingly simple to do and takes next to no-time to make; so if you’re short on time but looking for something super scrumptious, interesting and a delight to make and eat then this recipe is a winner. Helen has also provided some interesting swaps and additions you can make at the end. Let us know what you think.

Chickpea salad

Serves: 4 | Preparation time required: 15 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes

You’ll need:

  • 2 aubergines (eggplants), trimmed
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp harissa
  • 1 radicchio, trimmed and separated into leaves
  • Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
  • 1 x 400g/140z can (1 and 1/2 cups) of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 75g/30z wild rocket or baby spinach
  • A handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 60g/20z feta cheese, crumbled
  • Seeds of 1/4 pomegranate

For your yoghurt and tahini dressing:

  • 240g/8oz (1 cup) natural yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon- grated for zest and juiced
  • sea salt
  • finely ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC, 375ºF, gas mark 5.
  2. Make the yoghurt and tahini dressing; mix all the ingredients together in a bowl
  3. Cut the aubergines into thin slices lengthways. Mix the olive oil and harissa and brush over both sides of the slices. Arrange on a baking tray and cook in the oven fir about 20 minutes until golden brown and tender
  4. Meanwhile, lightly oil a griddle pan and place over a high heat. Add the radicchio and cook for 2-3 minutes until slightly charred on both sides. Remove from the pan and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
  5. Put the roasted aubergines in a large bowl with the warm radicchio, chickpeas, red onion, rocket/spinach, and herbs. Lightly toss everything together and drizzle the yoghurt and tahini dressing over the top. Serve warm, scattered with feta and pomegranate seeds.

Helen’s suggestions:

  • Add some toasted seeds or chopped hazelnuts and pistachios
  • Use red or white chicory instead of radicchio
  • Try coriander instead of parsley
  • Substitute canned cannellini or butter beans for the chickpeas
  • Add roasted sweet peppers and courgettes
  • Serve with griddled halloumi cheese
  • Serve with warm pitta triangles

You may also like...