Middle Eastern Roasted Eggplant with Couscous
Eggplant slathered in a fragrant chermoula paste, then roasted until soft and gooey, and piled high with a fresh couscous. Easy to prepare and absolutely divine. This is satisfying enough to be a meal on its own with just a very simple side salad. The recipe makes about twice the amount of couscous you actually need, but it's difficult to make in a smaller quantity and also extra couscous on the side makes this a more complete meal. The couscous is versatile and you can easily add your own touch to it. Capers would be lovely, as would crumbled feta, sundried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes and cucumber.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time55 mins
Servings: 4 as starter, 2 as main
- 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.
1. You can substitute the scallions with red onion, but only use 1/4 of an onion and finely dice it.
2. The deeper the scores, the faster the eggplant will cook and the more the flavour will infuse into the eggplant. But take care not to cut the skin - the eggplant is so soft when roasted, if the skin is cut it will literally fall apart!
3. Tahini Drizzle (vegan substitute for yoghurt) - combine 3 tbsp tahini, 2 tbsp lemon, 2 tbsp water, 1/4 tsp salt and 1 crushed small garlic clove. Adjust consistency with water or tahini as necessary, until it has the consistency of honey.