Around this time of year is when my imagination goes absolutely wild with recipes for salads. It's harvest season, and there are so many colorful fruits and vegetables ready to be picked and eaten. I usually have a garden of my own, even if it's just a little one out on the porch. Since my husband and I got married almost ten years ago, we've moved eleven times; some homes were our own and some we rented. I would try to start a garden only to find out a few months later that we would be moving again, and since you can't really move a garden, I would have to leave it behind. My husband is from Canada and I'm from the States, so we go back and forth a lot, either to visit family or to live in either of the two countries for a few years. We've spent the last five years traveling to other countries, so I haven't been able to take care of a garden of my own. We finally decided to build our own home (which will be ready close to spring time!) and I hope I will be able to have a big garden there. But, in the meantime, my parents' backyard is filled with different fruits and vegetables all year round, and I can go there to pick whatever is in season at the moment.
If you don't have a garden of your own, though, check out your local farmer’s markets for seasonal produce. I picked up some striped eggplants and a pound of tomatoes still on the vine just last week at our local market. Since I prefer to bake or roast vegetables instead of sautéing them, I knew these purple striped eggplants would make a delicious warm salad dish perfect for fall.
Fresh vegetables are so good for you. I just love how each one contains so many health benefits! For example: eggplant is linked to bone health and weight-loss, tomatoes benefit the heart and contain a small amount of calories, and spinach is a superfood that is high in iron.
2 small striped eggplants
4 large tomatoes
6 oz feta cheese, crumbled
2 garlic cloves
1 1/2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoon chopped spinach
Slice eggplants, 1 cm. Add to a bowl and drizzle 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Give it a good toss, and let it stand for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 500F.
Slice 4 tomatoes thinly.
In a small bowl mix 6 oz crumbled feta cheese, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, and 2 Tablespoons chopped spinach.
Place half of the eggplants on a baking sheet. On top of it place a slice of tomato and then a teaspoon of feta mixture. Add another a slice of eggplant, another slice of tomato and a teaspoon of feta mixture. Drizzle the rest of extra-virgin olive oil on top of each stack.
Roast in oven for 15 minutes.