Brown Rice Salad with Almonds, Grilled & Sautéed Baby Aubergine, Ginger and Lemon

Brown Rice Salad with Almonds, Grilled & Sautéed Baby Aubergine, Ginger and Lemon

with pretty spoon from a friend in Poland

Upon return from our week to my folks in Natal, I brought back a few difficult-to-find vegetables, including these adorable baby aubergine. They would be lovely sliced, dipped in chilli-bite (bhajia) batter and deep-fried as a crunchy snack, served with a cumin infused thick yoghurt dip.

However, a week of catch up eating later (which, I’m so looking forward to telling you about, including a “world famous prawn curry”), my body put the brakes on. When it speaks, I try my darndest to listen.

So upon return to Cape Town we started off with frozen fruit and matcha smoothies, nuts and seeds and raw vegetables. For the first week. Mostly.

This crunchy, wholesome salad uses brown basmati rice (use whatever type of brown or wild rice you have), aubergine done in two ways – griddled with minimal oil, and also sautéed with ginger and garlic in nothing more than water. It’s not short on flavour though, with spring onions, lemon and lemon zest as well as a lovely balsamic glaze.

If you like, drizzle more olive oil over (an infused oil like lemon olive oil, will just take it up a notch or two).

The gorgeous spoon is from my darling friend Gata, who sent it in a Christmas parcel. It’s by artisan tradesmen from the Tatras (Tatry) Mountain region. The heart had mine melting.


Serves 2

2 cups brown rice, cooked

few tablespoons olive oil

4-6 small aubergine, sliced lengthwise (or 1 medium sized one)

2 T fresh ginger, cut into ultra fine match sticks

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

40 ml water, more if needed

2 T raw almonds

2 T flaked almonds, lightly toasted

1 medium lemon, zested

1 long spring onion (scallion) snipped

2 T Balsamic glaze or crema di balsamico

salt, to taste


Heat a griddle pan on high, and brush lightly with olive oil.

Griddle half the aubergine slices, till soft, and the griddle pan marks adhere to each side. Set aside and sprinkle lightly with salt.

Remove griddle pan and heat saucepan on medium heat.

Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to pan. Fry ginger for a minute.

Add garlic for another minute, stirring and not allowing it to burn.

Add remaining aubergine slices and water and allow to sautée. Add salt.

Once soft and water has absorbed, turn heat down.

In a serving bowl, add rice, almonds, spring onions, both grilled aubergine and sautéed aubergine with ginger and garlic.

Mix well. Add juice of 1/2 lemon, lemon zest, salt to taste and the balsamic glaze (I used a ginger flavoured one) and toss well.

Best eaten while still warm.


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By |2017-05-08T12:49:31+00:00January 10th, 2012|Food, Recipe Index, Recipes, Salads & Dressings|10 Comments


  1. Kitchenboy in Taiwan January 10, 2012 at 1:46 am - Reply

    Looking delicious! We have those oddly shaped long Asian aubergines in Taiwan. Not great for making moutable or moussaka with, but quite delicious as they don’t have any bitter taste.

    • Ishay January 11, 2012 at 7:10 pm - Reply

      Hello. That’s fantastic. I ‘m enjoying re-discovering these veggies and finding out about new ones. I bet you have an abundance of awesome produce there.

  2. Kim Mari January 10, 2012 at 10:00 am - Reply

    Looks delicious Ishay, love brinjals, made a brinjal chutney the other day (had to call mum for recipe!!) LOVE the spoon

    • Ishay January 11, 2012 at 7:13 pm - Reply

      Kims…thank you. Share your Mom’s recipe, please! 😉

  3. Linda January 11, 2012 at 9:00 am - Reply

    All my favourite flavours. A great combination of textures and colours, and healthy too. Yum, yum, yum.

    • Ishay January 11, 2012 at 7:16 pm - Reply

      Hi Linda. Yes, healthy most needed post festive season. Tasty too x

  4. Gata January 11, 2012 at 10:21 pm - Reply

    Great recipe, forwardingto my mum 😉 Lovely to hear that you like the spoon! Though I still don’t know how onecan eat with it ;D

  5. Dinner Party with the Girls « February 2, 2012 at 9:28 am - Reply

    […] found the most amazing Food Blog – Food and Fabulous – and then I came across a very interesting Recipe; although I’ve never had Aubergine I […]

  6. Jana February 2, 2012 at 9:56 am - Reply

    Hey, I tried out this recipe last night! ABSOLUTELY LOVED it! It not only tastes DELICIOUS but looks the part as well! Please have a look at my blog to view pics! Thank you very much for sharing!

    • Ishay February 2, 2012 at 10:13 am - Reply

      Hi Jana. Firstly, thank you for reading and trying out the recipe. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Your pic looks lovely and sounds like you had a really cool party. Great idea to take turns to host each other. Hope you keep trying out more recipes here. Have a wonderful day!

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