Sometimes it’s fun to play ‘Mystery Box’ when lacking inspiration for dinner. After 5 days of minimal fresh food on a hiking trail, I went a bit overboard in the vegetable aisle last weekend. The baby aubergines (that I needed) then waited patiently in the fridge for some days until I took to the internet for ideas. After reading a variety of recipes – none of which was exactly what I felt like for dinner – I compiled this salad. And it hit the spot perfectly. Fresh, substantial and more-ish. Perfect for al fresco summer dining with a cold glass of white wine.
Baby Aubergine & Seared Steak Salad
250g baby aubergines
300g fillet steak
1 ripe avo, sliced
a big handful of baby spinach and basil leaves
2 fresh red chillis, chopped
80ml plain yoghurt
1 clove garlic, crushed
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp honey
salt & pepper
Heat a tsp of olive oil in a large frying pan, and gently fry the crushed garlic over a low heat. Remove to a small bowl, mix with the yoghurt, honey and lemon and store in the fridge until needed. Add 1 tblsp of olive oil to the same pan, over a medium heat, and add the quartered and sliced baby aubergines. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft and browned. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and cook for another few minutes, until slightly sticky. Remove to a bowl.
Slice the steak into thin strips, season with salt and pepper and dried chilli flakes (if desired). Add 2 tsp olive oil to the same pan, turn up the heat to high and quickly sear the steak strips, tossing frequently. This should take no more than a minute. Turn the heat off and move the pan.
Roughly slice the spinach and basil leaves, top with the aubergines and dollop around the yoghurt dressing. Scatter over the steak strips, a sliced avo, the almonds and some fresh red chilli for colour.