Baked Eggplant with Couscous and Yogurt

I guess all jobs are like this to some extent, but teaching really seems to be one with big ups and downs. On Tuesday I felt like the a totally awesome teacher. The activity went well, the kids were into it, and they all really seemed to get the concept (chemical and physical properties of matter). Yesterday was a different story. There was way too much drama (with 13 year olds, I guess that’s not really a surprise), a bunch of kids didn’t turn in their homework, and I just felt off all day.

It’s been that way in the kitchen lately, too. Some things come out better than expected, and others are flops. I’m trying to make more original recipes, but it doesn’t always work out very well. This beet salad was actually pretty awesome (roasted beets, toasted pistachios, goat cheese, orange zest)…

but a couple other things I tried this week were pretty lame. Fortunately there are still a million recipes on my to-try list, so I have somewhere to turn when I’m feeling less than inspired.

This kind of turned out to be more of a project meal than I planned for, so it’s a good thing I made it on a lazy Sunday (well, it was lazy after my 9.5 mile run…) The original recipe comes from Yotam Ottolenghi, who shares with Heidi Swanson the honorable distinction of being my food idol. I used whole wheat couscous instead of bulgur, and added chickpeas for some extra protein. My preserved lemons won’t be ready for a few more weeks, so I skipped that part. In the end, though, it was worth the hour or so it took to but this all together. Plus, we had leftovers for lunches the next day, which is always a huge win!

Baked Eggplant with Couscous and Yogurt


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 medium eggplants, halved lengthwise
  • Couscous
  • 1 cup whole wheat couscous
  • 1 1/2 cups (1 can) garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives, quartered lengthwise
  • 1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Stir together oil, garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, and salt in a small bowl.
  3. Cut the flesh of each eggplant half with 1/2"-deep diagonal crisscrossing lines, about 1" apart (be careful not to cut through skin). Drizzle each half with a quarter of the olive oil-spice mix, then place the eggplants, cut side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until soft and very tender in center, about one hour.
  4. While the eggplants are roasting, bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Stir in the couscous, cover, and remove from heat. Let stand for about 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
  5. Transfer the couscous to a bowl and stir in the garbanzos, olives, onion, raisins, mint, cilantro, pistachios, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve alongside the eggplant with a little yogurt drizzled on top.

(adapted from Bon Appetit)

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4 comments to Baked Eggplant with Couscous and Yogurt

  • Bummer! I had a really horrible teaching day on Wednesday too. Sometimes it is SO great… but sometimes it is the worst!

  • LOVE the recipe. You know I love me some Ottolenghi.

    Sorry you had on off teaching day. I hope things get back on track soon!

  • So very Mediterranean!

  • I made this last night for some friends, and it has turned an eggplant doubter into an eggplant lover!

    Eggplants are expensive here, so dinner party vegetables mostly (and I’ve had no luck growing them), but I think I will be having to invite people around more often…

    Oh, and I didn’t have cumin, so I put in some sumac, and I used smoked paprika. Delicious!

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