Spiced eggplant, lentils and mangoes combine deliciously in this Indian-inspired vegetarian salad. Customize the spiciness of this by choosing mild, medium or hot versions of salsa, chili powders and curry powder. The flavor is even better when the salad is prepared ahead. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
Preheat oven to 500°F.
Combine 1 tablespoon oil with 2 teaspoons each chili powder and curry powder in a large bowl. Add eggplant and toss well. Spread the eggplant on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring once halfway through, until tender, about 15 minutes.
Thoroughly combine the remaining 3 tablespoons oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon each chili powder and curry powder, 1/3 cup lemon (or lime) juice, salsa, honey, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the roasted eggplant, lentils and scallions; gently toss to combine. Taste and season with more pepper and/or lemon (or lime) juice, if desired.
Serve the salad on a bed of romaine, topped with mango, nuts, cilantro and the reserved 2 tablespoons scallions.
Kitchen Tip: To cook lentils, combine 1/2 cup red or brown lentils in a medium saucepan with 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat so the lentils boil gently, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 12 to 18 minutes (red lentils cook more quickly than brown). Makes 1 1/2 cups. To peel and dice a mango, slice both ends off the mango, revealing the long, slender seed inside. Set the fruit upright on a work surface and remove the skin with a sharp knife. With the seed perpendicular to you, slice the fruit from both sides of the seed, yielding two large pieces. Turn the seed parallel to you and slice the two smaller pieces of fruit from each side. Dice into desired size.