This Mediterranean flavored, Roasted Eggplant Couscous Salad is great for a quick and healthy lunch or works great as a side for any summer picnic or barbecue.
One of the grocery stores that I shop in has a ready made salad section. Their couscous salads always look so inviting. I bought some the other day and can’t tell you how disappointing it was. It was flat and artificial tasting.
I didn’t eat it.
Instead, I started thinking about how I would of wanted it to taste and created my own.
If you have time, I recommend salting the eggplant. I do this because it draws out juices, which can be bitter. It also firms flesh, making the eggplant less likely to soak up as much oil. This step can be skipped, but I really recommend it.
One of the best things about this delicious and colorful salad how easily it’s thrown together. It’s a healthy salad that’s filled with big flavors, roasted eggplant,olives, feta, and roasted red peppers.
I use couscous, but barley, quinoa, or any other hearty grain can easily be substituted. It would probably make a pretty fabulous pasta salad as well.
If couscous is your thing, I also make a great 10 minute Greek Style Couscous salad. These salads are really versatile, so feel free to add what ever herbs, cheeses or vegetables you want!
I hope you enjoy it!
- 1 large eggplant cubed, skin on
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic peeled
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup couscous
- 2 cups hot chicken or vegetable stock
- the juice of 1 lemon
- ¾ cup sliced olives
- ¾ cup chopped red roasted peppers
- fresh herbs of your choice - I used parsley oregano and basil chopped
- feta cheese cubed (as much as you like)
If you have time, I recommend salting the eggplant. I do this because it draws out juices, which can be bitter. It also firms flesh, making the eggplant less likely to soak up as much oil. This step can be skipped, but I recommend it.
To salt the eggplant:
First cube it (I leave the skin on), and then salt generously, leave to sit in a colander for at least an hour, preferably longer. Salted eggplant can sit for hours without harming the taste or texture.
Before cooking the eggplant, be sure to rinse the salt off well. Then place the cubes between sheets of paper towel and press gently to remove juices and firm the flesh.
Heat oven to 220C/400F
Toss the eggplant cubes with the oil, chopped onion and whole garlic cloves in a roasting pan and season with salt and pepper.
Roast for 15 minutes.
Remove the garlic and place it on a separate plate. Using a fork, mash it and then coat the eggplant with the mashed garlic. Set aside to cool.
Put the couscous and stock and a pinch of salt into a bowl and cover for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a salad bowl.
Add the roasted vegetable mixture, lemon juice, olives, herbs and 1 -2 tablespoons of olive oil and toss to combine.
Season to taste.
Add the feta and gently mix to combine.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.