tunisian spiced roasted eggplant & pepper salad

i have lived in this wee little one-bedroom apartment just up the path from beautiful greenlake for three full years. prior to this home, i had been living out of a bag, with things scattered between a few different temporary 'homes.' it was a period of time in which i felt i was always forgetting something, and never had my bike when and where i needed it to be. since that period, i've enjoyed being able to set my roots here... making this space a reflection of myself and my passions. art-filled walls, bookshelves full of cookbooks, and a kitchen that will be hard to say goodbye to: granite countertops, vintage wood floors and stainless steel appliances. but three years is a long time to be in one space when your in your twenties, and i've always wanted to experience my home city from a different perspective. so, my love and i have decided to move across town to the central district, just south of capitol hill. despite having lived in seattle my whole life (north seattle that is), it will feel like moving to a whole new city! i'm excited to reorient myself and explore new restaurants and coffee shops and establish new bike routes. it's will be an adventure! 

before i packed up my kitchen, i made one final meal with plenty of left-overs to power my packing & moving days ahead. so this will be my last post from the current rendering of the drum beets kitchen. soon, there will be new natural lighting to toy with, new kitchen appliances to dial into, and a bit more space to organize my growing collection of food photography 'props' ... i am quite excited!

tunisian spiced roasted eggplant & pepper salad ~ serves 3-4
3/4 cup hard red wheat berries
1 firm medium eggplant 
2 red bell peppers
1/2 red onion
1/3 cup tablespoons olive oil 
1 tablespoon harissa spice blend
1 teaspoon smoked paprika 
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
1 juice of one lemon
2/3 cup crumbled feta (optional) 

in a medium sauce pan, submerge wheat berries in cold water and let soak for at least 2 hours. the bring to a simmer and let cook on low until wheat berries are tender, slightly chewy but not falling apart [cooking time will greatly depend on how long you soak them prior... between 30-60 minutes]. preheat oven to 425. de-stem peppers, and trim off top and bottom from eggplant and peel outer layer of onion off. chop vegetables into small cubes - aout the size of a pistachio. in a small bowl, combine spices with salt and oil. in a large mixing bowl, place all of your chopped vegetables. pour about half of your oil mixture over the vegetables and mix with your hands to evenly coat. divide vegetables onto 2 baking sheets, so that there is plenty of room for them to roast and get crisp. if they are piled on top of each other, they will just steam. roast until edges are slightly charred and vegetables are fully cooked. 

reuse your large mixing bowl!... thoroughly strain wheat berries from water and combine in the large bowl with the remaining oil mixture, warm roasted vegetables and the remaining ingredients. salt and pepper to taste. 

serve warm or at room temp. or enjoy the salad chilled the next day, as i am currently doing. and now it is time to go deep clean my oven. uck. 

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