Monday, March 21, 2011

Israeli couscous with roasted eggplant, caramelized onion, and feta

A lot of people don't like eggplant. If not cooked properly, eggplant is bitter and hard, and I suspect people that don't like eggplant have only ever had it cooked the wrong way. Cooked properly, eggplant is creamy, rich and smooth, with a great satisfying depth.

If "creamy, rich and smooth" does not come to mind when you think of eggplant, here's how to get it that way.

You roast it.

(You knew I was going to say that.)

You don't even have to peel it. (In fact, you shouldn't, the rind--especially on purple eggplant--is full of vitamins.) Just slice in rounds. Coat a casserole dish with olive oil, put the slices in the pan, flip to coat with the oil, and roast at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes.


You don't have to pre-salt, or soak, or any of that other stuff.

For the caramelized onion, slice the onion into half-rings, and saute on medium-low with some olive oil for a long time. At least 30 minutes. Until the onion is dark and slippery and sweet. You don't have to watch the pan or anything, just put it on low and walk away. The longer the onions cook, the sweeter they'll be.

For this dish, I used about three cups of cooked Israeli couscous (that's the large, pearl-like kind), one small roasted and diced eggplant, half of one caramelized onion, and two handfuls of crumbled feta. Mix together, add salt, pepper and seasonings to taste. Serve warm or room temperature. It makes a great brown-bag lunch, and a great way to feature eggplant.

1 comment:

  1. Made this as a side with dinner tonight along with some grilled chicken. It was delicious! Next time I'll slice my eggplant a bit thicker and let my onions cook even longer and lower. Thanks for sharing!