Couscous with Eggplant - Episode 2201
Couscous is a typical Arab dish, imported into the food culture of Southern Mediterranean countries more than a thousand years ago. Traditionally, Arab couscous is made with meat and vegetables. The Sicilian Couscous alla trapanese is a main course, and its unusual feature is that fish and chicken are combined in the same dish. Trapani is less than 300 miles away from Tunis. Trapani absorbed the Tunisian couscous culture (and vice-versa), adding its own Sicilian touch to a typical Arab dish. The Sicilian Couscous alla trapanese is a main course and takes much time to prepare. But there are many other ways to serve couscous as in this recipe that uses another food with origins in the Middle East like eggplant.
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cups couscous
- Zest and juice of one large lemon
- 4 small size eggplant (aboutounces each)
- 1 small onion, peeled
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 tablespoons minced parsley
- 3 tablespoons Filippo Berio olive oil plus extra for the pan
- 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste (Mutti brand suggested)
- 1 cup grated aged Pecorino cheese
- Bring the broth to a boil in a medium size saucepan. Stir in the couscous, turn off the heat and cover. Allow the couscous to absorb all the broth, then stir in the zest and lemon juice. The couscous should be fluffy and cooked.
- Transfer the couscous to a medium size bowl and set aside.
- Trim the eggplant stems and discard it. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise.
- With a knife score the eggplant and carefully remove the pieces, leaving at least a 1/4 inch thick wall and base. Chop the pieces and set aside. Set the shells in a lightly oiled baking dish. Set aside.
- On a cutting board chop the onion, garlic and parsley together.
- Pour the oil into a medium size sauté pan and cook the onion mixture for a couple of minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and tomato paste and continue cooking for a minute or two. Add the eggplant and coat in the onion mixture. If the pan seems dry, add a little more oil.
- Cover the pan, lower the heat to medium and cook the mixture just until the eggplant begins to soften.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Transfer the eggplant mixture to the bowl with the couscous and combine the ingredients well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Pack the mixture into the eggplant halves. Divide and sprinkle the cheese over the tops of each half and drizzle the tops with a little olive oil.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake just until the mixture is heated through, about 10 minutes.
This recipe was featured on Season 22 - Episode 2201.
The stuffing was delicious. However, unless you are using fresh eggplants, the eggplant bowl won’t taste that good. I couldnt find fresh eggplants, so I used some small italian ones. I think japanese would taste best though.I recommend you salt the eggplant with kosher salt for 30 minutes and then wipe it dry with a damp cloth. I also think next time I am going to roast the eggplant bowls just a little bit with some salt and pepper and olive oil, just to bring out the sweetness of the eggplant. I think with a fresh Japanese eggplant that this is an excellent dish.
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Just recently started eating couscous and love it!!