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Spiced Eggplant-Lentil Salad with Mango
EatingWell Test Kitchen
“Spiced eggplant, lentils and mangoes combine deliciously in this Indian-inspired vegetarian salad. Customize the spiciness of this by choosing mild, medium or hot versions of salsa, chili powders and curry powder. The flavor is even better when the salad is prepared ahead. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.”
4 tablespoons peanut oil or olive oil, divided
2½ teaspoons chili powder, divided
2½ teaspoons curry powder, divided
2 medium eggplants ( ¾ pound each), trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
⅓ cup lemon or lime juice, plus more if desired
¼ cup prepared salsa
¼ cup honey
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
1½ cups cooked lentils (see Tip) or one 15-ounce can, rinsed
2 bunches scallions, coarsely chopped (reserve 2 tablespoons for garnish)
4 cups torn romaine lettuce
2 large ripe mangoes, peeled and diced (see Tip)
¼ cup coarsely chopped roasted peanuts or cashews
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1Preheat oven to 500°F.
2Combine 1 tablespoon oil with 2 teaspoons each chili powder and curry powder in a large bowl. Add eggplant and toss well. Spread the eggplant on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring once halfway through, until tender, about 15 minutes.
3Thoroughly combine the remaining 3 tablespoons oil, remaining ½ teaspoon each chili powder and curry powder, ⅓ cup lemon (or lime) juice, salsa, honey, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the roasted eggplant, lentils and scallions; gently toss to combine. Taste and season with more pepper and/or lemon (or lime) juice, if desired.
4Serve the salad on a bed of romaine, topped with mango, nuts, cilantro and the reserved 2 tablespoons scallions.
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 3, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
To cook lentils, combine ½ cup red or brown lentils in a medium saucepan with 1½ cups water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat so the lentils boil gently, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 12 to 18 minutes (red lentils cook more quickly than brown). Makes 1½ cups.
To peel and dice a mango, slice both ends off the mango, revealing the long, slender seed inside. Set the fruit upright on a work surface and remove the skin with a sharp knife. With the seed perpendicular to you, slice the fruit from both sides of the seed, yielding two large pieces. Turn the seed parallel to you and slice the two smaller pieces of fruit from each side. Dice into desired size.
Cut Down on Dishes: A rimmed baking sheet is great for everything from roasting to catching accidental drips and spills. For effortless cleanup and to keep your baking sheets in tip-top shape, line them with a layer of foil before each use.