Vegan lifestyle blogger Aine Carlin of Pea Soup Eats released a cookbook any animal product-shunner should add to their library immediately. Not vegan? Pick it up anyway — you know your veggie repertoire needs shaking up. From (vegan) soup to (already vegan) nuts, there’s something for everyone in Keep It Vegan. Know anyone who likes couscous? Really? Everyone? Well then right this way to stuffed eggplant bliss. Follow Aine on Twitter and Instagram.
I love couscous an inordinate amount. Often mistaken for a grain, it’s actually more akin to pasta as it is made from tiny granules of durum wheat. While you could use a protein-packed option like quinoa (and feel free to do so), there’s something so tempting about a mouthful of lemon-infused couscous.
- 1 eggplant, halved lengthwise
- 2 teaspoons Harissa
- 4 - 5 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup couscous
- pared strips of zest from 1/2 lemon
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
- 3/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, plus extra to garnish
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted, to garnish
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave nectar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly oil a baking sheet.
- Score the eggplant flesh diagonally both ways, creating a diamond pattern.
- Place on the baking sheet.
- Spread a teaspoon of harissa over each half, covering all the crevices.
- Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the oil over each, season with salt and pepper, and bake for 40 minutes or until the flesh is completely soft, turning over halfway through to ensure the skin doesn’t crisp or dry out.
- Place the couscous in a bowl with the lemon zest strips.
- Add 2/3 cup freshly boiled water, cover and set aside until all the liquid has been absorbed—about 10 minutes.
- Discard the lemon zest and fluff the couscous with a fork.
- Scoop the flesh from the center of each eggplant half, leaving enough around the sides to keep its shape.
- Roughly chop the flesh and place in a bowl.
- Stir through the couscous along with the lemon juice, smoked paprika and remaining olive oil.
- Season, then add the toasted pine nuts and parsley.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the eggplant skins.
- Return to the baking sheet and bake for another 15-20 minutes.
- To make the dressing, place the tahini in a bowl with the lemon juice, oil, maple syrup or agave nectar, salt and 2 tablespoons water.
- Whisk until smooth, adding a little more water if necessary–or use a hand-held blender.
- Remove the stuffed eggplants from the oven and serve with a dollop of tahini dressing and a sprinkling of sesame seeds and parsley.
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