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Deliciously Ella’s Warm Winter Salad

This salad was one of the first recipes I created for the book Deliciously Ella and I’ve been coming back to it time and time again ever since. I just love the mix of flavours and textures here, from the wilted spinach and roasted aubergine to the crunchy pine nuts, sweet sun-dried tomatoes and creamy tahini sauce. It’s a pretty filling dish, but if you’re feeling really hungry, then try serving it with some brown rice or quinoa with a little lemon drizzled over. It’s one of my favourite meals to make for friends when I’m after an easy kitchen supper and it’s always such a winner.

Serves 4
4 small aubergines (600g)
olive oil
1 tablespoon dried mixed herbs (I love herbes de Provence)
2 bags of spinach (about 500g)
4 tablespoons tahini
juice of 1 lime
2 mugs sun-dried tomatoes (360g)
1 mug pine nuts (100g)
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan 180°C).

Slice the aubergines into thin strips about 7.5mm thick.

Place the strips on a baking tray with a generous amount of olive oil, the dried herbs, salt and pepper.

Bake for 20 minutes.

About 5 minutes before the aubergines finish, place the spinach into a large frying pan with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and allow it to wilt. Once it’s wilted, add the tahini, lime juice and sun-dried tomatoes.

In a separate pan, toast the pine nuts for a minute or two, being sure not to let them burn – they don’t need any oil to cook as they contain enough of their own oil.

Add the aubergine and pine nuts to the spinach pan and mix well before serving.

Top tip:
Watch out for the ingredients of sun-dried tomatoes – they can often contain lots of sugars and preservatives. If you can only find these ones, then rinse them in boiling water before using them.

Recipe extracted from Deliciously Ella by Ella Mills, published by Yellow Kite, £22
Photography by Clare Winfield