This recipe for Mediterranean Couscous Salad with Roasted Eggplant is made with roasted red peppers, feta cheese, and fresh herbs. It’s great for a quick and healthy lunch or for any summer picnic or barbecue.
One of the grocery stores that I shop in has a readymade 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 have wanted it to taste and created my own.
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.
If you love couscous, I also make a great 10 minute Greek Style Couscous salad. These salads are really versatile, so feel free to add whatever herbs, cheeses or vegetables you want!
I hope you enjoy it!
Here’s how to make it:
Toss the eggplant cubes with the oil or cooking spray, chopped onion and whole garlic cloves in a roasting pan and season with salt and pepper.
Roast for 15 minutes.
Remove the roasted garlic clove and place it on a separate plate. Using a fork mash it into a paste.
Coat the eggplant with the mashed garlic and set aside to cool.
Put the couscous, water and a pinch of salt into a bowl.
Cover and let sit 5 minutes or until the water is absorbed into the couscous. Fluff with a fork and if necessary, transfer to a salad bowl.
Add the roasted vegetable mixture, chopped herbs, and feta cheese.
Toss well and prepare the dressing by mixing lemon juice, olive oil, dried oregano, and seasoning.
Add the red roasted peppers to the bowl.
Top with the dressing and toss to coat.
Chill for 2 hours or serve warm. It’s delicious either way.
- If you have time, I recommend salting the eggplant. It draws out juices, which can be bitter. It also firms the flesh, making the eggplant less likely to soak up as much oil. You can find instructions here.
- A quick way to avoid having oil-soaked eggplant when roasting is to use cooking spray instead of oil (which is what I’ve included in the recipe).
- The roasted garlic in this recipe should be mashed as soon as it comes out of the oven. As it cools, it firms and makes it much harder to work with.
- For this recipe, I use couscous, but barley, quinoa, or any other hearty grain can easily be substituted. It would also make a pretty fabulous pasta salad as well.
- This recipe calls for instant couscous which is made by covering with boiling water and leaving to soak for 5 minutes. It’s best for you to read the instructions on your couscous package and adjust the recipe as needed.
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- 1 large eggplant, cubed, skin on
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
- cooking spray
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1½ cups instant couscous
- 1½ cups boiling water, lightly salted
- ¾ cup sliced olives
- fresh herbs of your choice, chopped (I used parsley oregano and basil)
- ¾ cup red roasted peppers, chopped
- feta cheese, cubed (as much as you like)
For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, approx 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Heat oven to 220C/400F Toss the eggplant cubes with cooking spray, 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 mixture with the mashed garlic. Set aside to cool.
- Put the couscous and water and a pinch of salt into a bowl and cover for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a salad bowl.
- Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
- Add the eggplant mixture, feta, herbs and olives to the couscous. gently mix to combine. Add the roasted red peppers and dressing and toss to coat. Taste for seasoning and add more if necessary.
- Refrigerate to chill or serve warm.