Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Israeli Couscous with Eggplant and Basil

Israeli Couscous with Eggplant and Basil
with thanks to Amy


3/4 cup Israeli couscous
Coarse salt and ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound small to medium, slender eggplants, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
3 shallots, peeled and chopped into large pieces
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/3 cup lightly packed fresh basil, torn


In a small saucepan, combine couscous, 1 cup water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, stir once, and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook until couscous is tender, 12 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid, heat oil over medium-high. Add eggplant and shallots and stir to coat; season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring frequently, until shallots are caramelized and eggplant is cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.

In a serving bowl, combine eggplant mixture and couscous. Stir in vinegar and basil and season with salt and pepper.


When Amy blogged about this, she joked about eating the whole thing herself, even though the original recipe from Martha Stewart says it serves 4. Well, I think you can let yourself off the hook, my dear, because by "4" I assume they meant 4 tiny-stomached people. This is a serving for 2, no question, and that's for lunch.


I adored this. Loads. So much so, I made it for lunch two days apart. For me, eggplant and basil go hand in hand, mostly because I am crazy about Thai eggplant stir fry, in which handfuls of holy basil are wilted in. So, of course I fell in love with this simple dish, as it lets the eggplant and basil really shine together. In that vein, I also added a heaping tablespoon of nam pla prik to the bowl as I was eating it. Couldn't help it. If you're a Thai fanatic like I am, I highly recommend it.


Pam said...

I really, really need to give eggplant a try. I had a bad experience with it when I was younger and I haven't given it a second chance. This dish looks healthy and tasty.

Melissa said...

Pam, I feel like I can't fault you on that one - eggplant can be hit or miss depending on type, season, preparation, all sorts of things. I hope you give it another go, though - it's particularly good in Thai and Japanese dishes.