Eggplant and Chickpea Salad

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This was a surprise hit! I stupidly decided to make tapas tonight. I was in a bit of a bad mood, and I thought lots of little delights would snap me out of it. I was wrong, creating 5 little dishes is quite involved. I’m normally a tidy cook, but tonight I had a bench full of ingredients getting in my way. And I managed to burn myself twice and smash a glass and a bowl in the process. However, this little tapas dish stood out as really quite tasty. The smokiness of the eggplant is divine.

RECIPE:

INGREDIENTS:
2 small eggplants
200g canned chick peas (drained)
1 garlic clove (crushed)
1/2 lemon (juice of)
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
salt & pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Spanish paprika (for sprinkling)

DIRECTIONS:
Over a gas flame, blacken the skin of the aubergines all over. Alternatively, put the eggplants under a hot grill, turning regularly until all sides are charred. Place in a plastic bag for 5 minutes, take out and peel off the skin and chop off the stem. Roughly chop the flesh.

Add the drained chickpeas, crushed garlic, lemon juice and vinegar, olive oil and season well with salt and pepper and combine gently. Leave covered for 1/2 hour to let the flavours develop before serving. Sprinkle over the paprika just before serving.

SERVING:
Serve as part of a tapas meal with some crusty toasted bread. Serve some lemon wedges for people to squeeze over should they wish.

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