KALE SALAD WITH GRILLED EGGPLANT, WHITE BEANS AND FRESH FIGS [VEGAN]

Another Amazing Vegan Salad Packed with Protein SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 2 medium-large cloves garlic

  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • Pinch sea salt

  • 1 Japanese eggplant, about 10 inches long, ends removed, and cut on the diagonal into 1/4-inch thick slices

  • 1/2 of a large orange or yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/3-inch or slightly wider pieces

  • Approximately 1/4 cup red onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices

  • 1-15 ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained

  • 2 generous cups lightly packed fresh kale, stems removed, and torn into bite size pieces (if the farmer’s market doesn’t have any, I purchase the pre-washed, pre-torn kale in a bag and remove any remaining thick stems)

  • 5 ounces plain or garlic-flavored hummus (half of a typical carton–I use Sabra brand Roasted Garlic)

  • Approximately 1/3 cup olive oil

  • 8 small-medium leaves fresh basil chiffonade (stacked, tightly rolled, and sliced into very narrow slivers), or finely chopped

  • 8 small-medium leaves fresh sage chiffonade (stacked, tightly rolled, and sliced into very narrow slivers), or finely chopped

  • Pinch sea salt and freshly ground black pepper or to taste

  • 8 fresh figs, stemmed, and sliced in half vertically

  • 1/4 cup roasted and lightly salted sunflower seeds

  • Optional garnish: sprigs of fresh basil

  1. In a medium-large bowl, whisk together the 1/4 cup olive oil, garlic, smoked paprika, turmeric, and pinch of sea salt. Add the eggplant, bell pepper, and red onion and toss to coat.

  2. Let marinate for a few minutes.

  3. Then, heat a seasoned grill pan over medium high and grill the veggies in batches for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until nice grill marks develop.

  4. Return them to the bowl they were marinating in.

  5. While the veggies grill, whisk together the hummus, 1/3 cup olive oil, fresh herbs, and salt and pepper to taste.

  6. Add the white beans and kale to the veggies, pour the dressing over and toss to coat.

  7. Arrange the salad on a serving platter or individual plates, nestle the fig halves, flesh side up, over the top, sprinkle with sunflower seeds and garnish, if desired, with fresh basil springs.

  8. Serve immediately.