Eggplant Balela Recipe
For tHe Marinated eGGPlant:
1 tablespoon (16 g) tahini
1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon (15 ml) white balsamic vinegar
1½ teaspoons nutritional yeast
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon harissa paste, or to taste
1 clove garlic, grated or pressed
½ teaspoon ground cumin
Salt, to taste
1 small eggplant (a little over 10 ounces, or 280 g), trimmed, cut in two width wise and then length- wise in ½-inch (1.3 cm) slices
For the Balela:
1 tablespoon (15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons (30 ml) white balsamic vinegar
⅓ cup (53 g) minced red onion
2 cloves garlic, grated or pressed
1½ cups (246 g) cooked chickpeas
1½ cups (258 g) cooked black beans
½ of a roasted red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 small tomato, seeded if desired, minced
3 tablespoons (18 g) minced fresh mint leaves
3 tablespoons (11 g) minced fresh parsley
Salt and pepper
Red pepper flakes, to taste
1To make the marinated eggplant: Combine the tahini, oil, lemon juice, vinegar, nutritional yeast, onion powder, harissa paste, garlic, cumin, and salt in a shallow pan. Brush a generous amount of this mixture on both sides and edges of each piece of eggplant and place in the shallow pan. Place the pan in the refrigerator for 1 hour to marinate.
2Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C, or gas mark 8). Place the slices of eggplant on a large, rimmed baking sheet.
3Bake for 8 minutes, flip the slices, and bake for another 6 to 8 minutes until tender and golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.
4Once cool enough to handle, cut the eggplant slices into ⅓-inch (8 mm) cubes.
5To make the balela: In a large bowl, combine the oil, lemon juice, vinegar, onion, and garlic. Add the chick-peas, black beans, roasted bell pepper, tomato, mint, parsley, cubed eggplant, salt, ground pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste.
6Chill overnight and serve cold or brought back to room temperature. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days, and they get even better with each passing day.
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Stephanie Dreyer (owner of Batch Cooking Club) is a plant-based meal planning expert. Her recipes and meal planning advice have been featured in several publications and online media outlets, including VegNews magazine and VegNews.com, Chickpea magazine, MensHealth.com, Parade and Thrive Global.
Earth of Maria
I’ve never been good at introductions because when they’re needed, I seem to forget every single interesting thing about myself. But I guess we’ll start with the basics. My name is Maria, and I am a twenty year old student from England. I study history at the University of Oxford and live in Brighton, but I was born in Russia and moved to the UK around ten years ago. I’m a vegan foodie (as you can probably tell by this blog), a lover of long walks and somewhere awkwardly between extrovert and introvert. Veganism and healthy eating are a huge part of my life, given that both have helped me overcome an unhealthy relationship with food. Finding balance took a lot of time and patience. But, as with many things in life, hard work proved 110% worth it! Whenever I’m not in the kitchen or working in my room, you’ll often find me at the gym, or at the grocery store looking for inspo for my next recipe.