Roasted eggplant + couscous

October 25, 2009

IMG_3789

Last week at the farmers market, we bought an eggplant the size of a small infant for $1.  It called for great things.  It also called for a husband in town, since–despite my wolf-like appetite–I knew I would not be able to tackle it solo.  So, we waited for Mr. Onepot’s return from a business trip to roast it and stuff it and revel in its purple goodness.

If you’re playing along at home, you will need something along these lines:

  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 small (or 1/2 large) pepper
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup of couscous
  • 2 cups of water or broth
  • 1 fistful of spinach leaves (fresh? fine.  frozen? also fine.)
  • 1 fistful of pine nuts

Then:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450F.
  2. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise.  Remove the seedy entrails .  Rub it with some olive oil and salt+pepper, just to tame it a touch.
  3. Place the eggplant in a shallow baking dish and bake for 20 minutes.
  4. Rest.  Google.  Have some wine.
  5. When the timer goes off, pour 1/3 of the tomatoes into one eggplant half and 1/3 into the other.  Spread the remaining 1/3 across the bottom of the baking dish.  Return to the oven for another 20 minutes.
  6. Too bad if you had been googling  something interesting, because now is the time to saute the garlic, onion, and pepper for a minute or so.
  7. Add the couscous and stir for ~15 seconds.  (I have no idea if this “toasts” it in any way that makes a difference in flavor, but I sure like doing it.)
  8. Add the water/broth to the couscous and simmer for 2-3 minutes.  At the end, toss in the spinach.  Turn the heat off and let the couscous rest, covered, until…
  9. …the timer goes off for the eggplant.  Remove it from the oven and fill each half with some of the couscous mixture.  Spread the remainder out as evenly as possible around the eggplant in the baking dish.  It should be resting in all sorts of delicious, half-burned tomato juice puddles.
  10. Bake for another 15 minutes.  Sprinkle pine nuts on top.  (I also added some chevre at the very last minute, because chevre makes everything better.)  Broil for 2-3 minutes.

Now you just need to hunt down some more wine and good company to go with the lovely dark and rich and grainy notes of this dish.

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