Cooking Veggies with Sarah Graham: Pumpkin, Chickpeas & Aubergine

Words: Crush

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We’re cooking veggies with Sarah Graham. Sarah works her magic in the kitchen to whip up these two delicious veggie dishes, both can be used as a main or side dish.

Cooking Veggies With Sarah Graham

First up, a roasted pumpkin and chickpea (or lentil) salad with creamy goats cheese and a divine herbed yoghurt dressing, and a light deconstructed melanzane-style aubergine stack that’s wholesome, fresh and sings with flavour. Have a peek at cooking veggies with Sarah Graham for your next dinner inspiration.

Roasted Pumpkin and Chickpea Salad with Goats Cheese and Herbed Yoghurt Dressing

cooking veggies with sarah graham

This aromatic and warming salad is perfect for a satisfying winter meal, or even as a side dish for a dinner get-together. The dish works equally well with canned chickpeas or lentils.

Serves 2 | Preparation time 10 minutes | Cooking time 30 minutes (mostly unattended)


400 g peeled and cubed pumpkin
1–2 Tbsp olive oil
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
40g mixed salad greens
1 x 400 g can chickpeas or lentils, drained
½ red onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp each chopped fresh mint and parsley (or coriander)
100 g feta or soft goat’s cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper
*Avocado, optional

Herbed Yoghurt Dressing

½ cup natural yoghurt
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint or basil
1 tsp lemon zest
1 Tbsp lemon juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 °C.
  2. Using a large baking tray, toss the pumpkin with the olive oil and spices until coated, and then roast on the middle shelf for 45-50 minutes or until golden and cooked through, then set aside to cool.
  3. Prepare the salad dressing and set aside.
  4. Add the salad leaves to a large serving bowl and then layer in the remaining ingredients, serve immediately along with the salad dressing.

*Note, for a simpler salad dressing, simply drizzle over olive oil and lemon juice.

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Aubergine Stacks with Speedy Salsa Verde

cooking veggies with sarah graham

“I suppose that there are elements of this that make me think of it as a sort-of deconstructed Melanzane, but it’s also fresher and lighter and free of endless bubbling cheese (not that endless bubbling cheese could ever be a bad thing). Let’s call it a springtime cousin, shall we? Either way, it’s one of Rob’s very favourite favourites, it’s budget-friendly and beautiful. The addition of the ‘speedy salsa verde’ gives it a little lemony kick that I love.” – Sarah Graham

Serves 2 | Preparation time 15 minutes | Cooking time 30 minutes (mostly unattended)


olive oil
about 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (or hard cheese of your choice)
2 medium-sized aubergines, sliced lengthways 1 cm thick
about 1/3 cup feta cheese, to crumble over the aubergines when serving
baby basil leaves, for garnishing

Tomato Sauce

½ Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
4 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped (set over a sieve for 5–10 minutes for some of the liquid to drain off)
1 Tbsp roughly chopped fresh basil, stalks included
1–2 sprigs fresh oregano (if available)
1 level tsp dried chilli flakes
pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper
pinch sugar or preferred healthy natural sweetener

Speedy Salsa Verde

handful fresh basil
1 small clove garlic
1–2 tsp sunflower seeds
1 tsp lemon zest
1–2 Tbsp lemon juice
1–2 Tbsp olive oil
pinch of salt
healthy natural sweetener, to taste (I like to use 4–6 drops stevia liquid or 1–2 tsp rice malt syrup)


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 °C.
  2. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a generous sprinkling of Parmesan to the top of each aubergine slice and lay them side by side on a nonstick baking tray. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden and the edges are starting to crisp. Remove and set aside.
  3. While the aubergines bake, prepare the tomato sauce by placing a small heavy-based saucepan on the stove over medium heat. Add the olive oil and, when it’s hot, cook the garlic for a minute until fragrant. Add the remaining ingredients, stir, bring to a gentle bubble and leave to simmer with the lid off for 20 minutes, or until the colour has deepened and the mixture has thickened.
  4. Prepare the salsa verde by finely chopping the basil, garlic and sunflower seeds on a wooden chopping board. Once chopped, add to a small bowl along with the lemon zest. Drizzle in the lemon juice and olive oil, season with salt and a dash of your preferred natural sweetener and adjust to taste.
  5. To serve, layer into large bowls or onto plates as follows: Aubergine slice, tomato sauce, crumbled feta; repeat until you have used all of the ingredients. Drizzle 1–2 tsp of salsa verde over each serving, add a few fresh baby basil leaves to garnish and serve immediately.

Tip: Place a damp cloth under your chopping board so that it is secure and doesn’t move around. This makes you more efficient and also gives you better control over the knife.

If you enjoyed cooking veggies with Sarah Graham, check out her meat dishes too. | Facebook

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