This roasted eggplant is slathered with a fragrant chermoula paste (made from scratch) then roasted until soft and gooey, and topped with a fresh herb couscous. It only takes 15 minutes to prepare, is a great make ahead dish and absolutely divine as a starter or a meal.
It is meaty enough to have on its own as a main, accompanied with a light salad, like my Middle Eastern Chickpea Salad (suggest excluding the chickpeas though).
Middle Eastern Roasted Eggplant
The roasted eggplant is shown here with a dollop of yoghurt, but I’ve also provided a Tahini Drizzle (vegan) which I also love to use. This is a must try recipe!!
This is a recipe adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem cookbook (the Chermoula Aubergine with Bulgar & Yoghurt recipe). I am obsessed with this cookbook, and you’ll see many more recipes on this blog inspired by recipes from it. I usually make them healthier (by reducing oil and butter) and find nifty little shortcuts without sacrificing taste!
This recipe is a great make ahead recipe as it can be served warm or at room temperature. Also you can make the eggplant and couscous ahead, and just reheat the eggplant in the oven (or keep it warm covered in foil) when you want to serve it.
More ways with eggplant
- Greek Moussaka (Eggplant Beef Bake) – the Greek version of Italian lasagna, made with layers of eggplant instead of pasta sheets. Epic!
- Moroccan Baked Eggplant with Beef – smeared with spices, baked until soft and topped with Moroccan spiced beef
- Grilled Eggplant with Yoghurt Sauce – simple and fabulous!
- Grilled Miso Glazed Japanese Eggplant – caramelised with a Japanese miso glaze!
- Eggplant is also commonly used in Thai Red and Green Curry
Middle Eastern Roasted Eggplant with Couscous
- 2 medium eggplants
- 2 garlic cloves , crushed
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp paprika
- Rind of 1 medium lemon
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup couscous
- 1/4 cup sultanas or currants
- 3/4 cup boiling water
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped green olives
- 1/4 cup flaked almonds , dry toasted on stove or in oven
- 1/4 cup scallions or spring onion , chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (coriander) and mint (1/4 cup together)
- Black pepper
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.
- Slice the eggplant lengthwise, then use small knife to make diagonal criss cross scores deep into the eggplant, making sure you don't cut the skin. (See notes)
- Combine the chermoula ingredients and mix into a paste. Slather onto the eggplant.
- Place on baking tray, flesh side up, and roast for 40 minutes until completely soft. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the eggplant you are using.
- Place the couscous, salt and sultanas into a bowl, add the boiling water and cover for 5 minutes.
- Fluff the couscous with a fork, add the remaining ingredients and toss through to combine. Adjust seasoning to your taste.
- To serve, pile each eggplant high with couscous, finish with a dollop of yoghurt (see notes for vegan alternative) and garnish with cilantro. Best served warm but also delicious at room temperature.