Pomegranate and aubergine salad with harissa
A spicy salad that works well as a starter or mezze dish for sharing with friends.
Line a plate with a double layer of kitchen paper. Pour the vegetable oil into a large, deep saucepan and place over a medium–high heat. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.) Once hot, add the aubergines to the pan and fry for 10–15 minutes, stirring every few minutes to prevent burning, until fully cooked and deeply golden brown on all sides. They need plenty of oil to cook properly, so add more oil if the pan becomes dry.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked aubergine pieces to the paper-lined plate and allow to cool slightly. Place another two sheets of kitchen paper on top and press the aubergine pieces gently with the paper to extract any excess oil. Leave to cool.
Put the olive oil, pomegranate molasses, harissa, honey and tomato purée into a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
Add the bread cubes and coat them well with the mixture. Add the cooled aubergines, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, pomegranate seeds and pistachios and season well with the salt flakes. Stir to thoroughly mix. Add more honey to taste.
Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes (this can also be made the day before and refrigerated overnight). Stir well before serving.