Grilled Eggplant Salad with Freekeh. Loaded up with fresh herbs and served over a tangy yogurt dressing, this healthy salad is full of Middle Eastern flavor. Vegan adaptable!

Grilled Eggplant Salad with Freekeh. Loaded up with fresh herbs and served over a tangy yogurt dressing, this healthy salad is full of Middle Eastern flavor. Vegan adaptable #freekah #eggplantsalad #freekehsalad #freekehrecipe #vegetarian #vegan #healthysalad

If I had another life I would want to spend it all on some unstinting happiness. I would be a fox, or a tree full of waving branches. I wouldn’t mind being a rose in a field full of roses. Fear has not yet occurred to them, nor ambition. Reason they have not yet thought of. Neither do they ask how long they must be roses, and then what. Or any other foolish question. ~ Mary Oliver

 

In this eggplant salad recipe, Grilled eggplant is tossed with fresh herbs and freekeh, then served overtop a delicious yogurt dressing. To me, it’s heavenly, combing all my favorite Middle Eastern flavors together to make a delicious make-ahead salad that is vegan adaptable.

Grilled Eggplant Salad with Freekeh. Loaded up with fresh herbs and served over a tangy yogurt dressing, this healthy salad is full of Middle Eastern flavor. Vegan adaptable #freekah #eggplantsalad #freekehsalad #freekehrecipe #vegetarian #vegan #healthysalad

Wait, but what is freekeh?

What really makes this salad shine is the actual freekeh. Now this may just look and seem like a bigger, more coarse version of cracked wheat. But it is sooooooo far from it!  Freekeh is actually smoked. The whole wheat kernels are picked when they are still young and green, then they are roasted and smoked over a wood burning fire, charring off the chaff, before being just lightly cracked.  The smoke flavor subtly permeates the dishes and salads you make with it. AND that is why I loooooooooove it so much! Together with the grilled eggplant and tangy dressing, it tastes amazing! Freekeh is considered an ancient grain, and yes it does contain gluten.

Grilled Eggplant Salad with Freekeh. Loaded up with fresh herbs and served over a tangy yogurt dressing, this healthy salad is full of Middle Eastern flavor. Vegan adaptable #freekah #eggplantsalad #freekehsalad #freekehrecipe #vegetarian #vegan #healthysalad

This could easily be a main course salad.

To make this vegan, use a vegan yogurt or sour cream.

Grilled Eggplant Salad with Freekeh. Loaded up with fresh herbs and served over a tangy yogurt dressing, this healthy salad is full of Middle Eastern flavor. Vegan adaptable #freekah #eggplantsalad #freekehsalad #freekehrecipe #vegetarian #vegan #healthysalad

Fire up the grill before it gets too cold and grill the eggplants.

Grilled Eggplant Salad with Freekeh. Loaded up with fresh herbs and served over a tangy yogurt dressing, this healthy salad is full of Middle Eastern flavor. Vegan adaptable #freekah #eggplantsalad #freekehsalad #freekehrecipe #vegetarian #vegan #healthysalad

Toss the grilled eggplant with the fresh herbs and cooked freekeh and citrusy dressing. This will keep for up to 4 days in the fridge.

When ready to eat, serve it over the tangy yogurt dressing.

Grilled Eggplant Salad with Freekeh. Loaded up with fresh herbs and served over a tangy yogurt dressing, this healthy salad is full of Middle Eastern flavor. Vegan adaptable #freekah #eggplantsalad #freekehsalad #freekehrecipe #vegetarian #vegan #healthysalad

Top with fresh herbs and enjoy!

For more make-ahead salads be sure to go here! 

PS. If you live in Spokane, you can find Freekeh at the International Food Store on East Mission. They also have amazing, thin whole wheat pita bread (frozen), Lebaneh, Halloumi Cheese, Zaatar Spice and Aleppo!

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Grilled Eggplant Salad with Freekeh, fresh herbs and a tangy yogurt dressing. A delicious Middle Eastern salad that can be made ahead. Vegan adaptable! #freekeh #eggplantsalad

Grilled Eggplant Salad with Freekeh and Yogurt Dressing

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 25
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: salad, eggplant recipes, freekeh recipes
  • Method: grilled
  • Cuisine: middle eastern

Description

Grilled Eggplant Salad with Freekeh, a smoked, ancient Middle Eastern grain, tossed with fresh herbs and served over a tangy yogurt dressing. Vegan adaptable!


Ingredients

Scale


  • 1 cup dry Freekeh

    2  1/2 cups water

    1 large eggplant, sliced into 1/4 inch slices

    1/4 cup mint, chopped

    1/4 cup dill, chopped

    1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped

    3 scallions, sliced

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

    4 tablespoons olive oil

    34 tablespoons lemon juice

    1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste

    1/2 teaspoon pepper

    1 teaspoon sumac (optional)

    1/2 teaspoon aleppo chili flakes ( optional)


Yogurt Sauce:


  • 1 cup plain thick Greek yogurt ( or sub vegan yogurt)

    1 tablespoon lemon juice

    2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill (or mint, or parsley)

    12 garlic cloves finely minced

    ½ teaspoon sumac (optional)

    1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste


Instructions

Preheat grill to medium high.
Place freekeh and water in a medium pot, bring to a boil, cover, then turn heat to low and simmer 15-20 minutes, until water is absorbed and freekeh is tender.
Slice the eggplant and brush or spray with olive oil. Season with salt. Grill both sides, 3-4 minutes until grill marks appear, then wrap in foil to allow them to steam and cook through. Cut the eggplant into bite-sized pieces.
Place the cooked freekeh, eggplant, chopped herbs, lemon zest, scallions, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and spices in a bowl. Toss to combine. Taste and adjust salt and lemon. You want it to taste slightly tart. the smoky flavor will come through as it sits.
Place the yogurt sauce ingredients in a small bowl and whisk. ( if making the vegan version, you may need to add more lemon)
To serve, lather the yogurt dressing on platter, and pile the salad over top. Garnish with torn mint leaves.
To pack up for lunch, spead a little yogurt sauce on the bottom of the container, spoon salad over top ( or keep it separate).
Salad will keep 3-4 days in the fridge, with yogurt dressing on the side.

Notes

Sumac gives the salad an earthy tangy quality. If you don’t have it, you may need a little more salt, and add some lemon zest.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 337
  • Sugar: 8.3 g
  • Sodium: 486.2 mg
  • Fat: 17.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 42.5 g
  • Fiber: 10.3 g
  • Protein: 9.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 8 mg

Keywords: eggplant salad, freekeh salad, freekeh recipes, grilled eggplant salad, egglant salad recipes, what is freekeh, how to cook freekeh, freekeh salad

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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Comments

  1. Hi Sylvia – Your Grilled Eggplant Salad was fantastic! My vegan husband loved it! I couldn’t find freekeh so I subbed farro and it worked. I will try freekeh next time. This recipe is a keeper! FAH is my go-to site for healthy and delicious recipes. Thank you!

    1. Thanks Laura! So happy you liked it. Yes, if you. can track down Freekah, it is so lovely!

  2. This is a great recipe! I’ve made it several times and always enjoy it. When I was out of freekeh I substituted farro and have also added grilled zucchini.

  3. Super easy and great flavors! As I made it, was not confident it was going to come out tasty, but it was a crowd pleaser! Roasted the eggplant instead of putting it on the grill, which I am sure would have elevated the recipe more, but still turned out great.

  4. WOW! This is sensational. I’m sure to make this again and again. As always, you’re recipes are the absolute best ever. I’ve tried so many of your recipes and each time they deliver a great outcome. Thanks Sylvia!

  5. Loved this! I had to walk an hour to a Middle Eastern supermarket in Brussels, for the Freekeh, but totally worth it.

  6. Thank you!! This recipe is phenomenal! I put some zucchini in there and used coriander instead of mint as I didn’t have any but it was Magnificent!

  7. Our next step toward more meatless meals, am finding new-to-me grains like Freekeh. Made this last night–could have used large eggplant as directed, delicious & filling anyway! Next time–less lemon juice & herbs in sauce–try sumac which forgot to add.

  8. Hi Sylvia,
    Can you tell me where I can buy freekeh in Spokane? I want to try your grilled eggplant recipe that uses it.
    Thank you for your weekly inspiration- I love Mary Oliver’s quote this week?
    Patty Gates

    1. Patty, you could try calling Huckleberries but I know they have it at the International Food Store on East Mission in Spokane. While you are there, they also have really yummy frozen pita bread – I like the very thin kind that is whole wheat. Also, they have Lebneh. AND HALLOUMI!!!;)

  9. I’ve never really cooked with eggplant before but I’ve been trying to be more open to new food ideas so I’ll definitely give this one a try