Moroccan-Inspired Stuffed Eggplant (w/ Couscous)
oil or cooking spray
3-1/2 cups hot vegetable broth, or sufficient amount to cook couscous
1-2/3 cups dried couscous OR bulgar wheat
2 medium-large eggplants, slightly on the ripe side
3 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 large red onion, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, or to taste
salt, to taste (optional)
2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1-1/2 teaspoons paprika or cayenne
black pepper, to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 to 6 tablespoons soy yogurt
1. Oil baking sheet and place it in an oven preheated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Couscous: In a pot, combine hot broth, couscous, and cloves. Add the broth in stages until the couscous is cooked to taste. For a stronger clove flavor, leave the cloves in to steep for awhile longer.
3. Eggplant: Wash eggplant, then slice each eggplant in half lengthwise. Scrape out the flesh and chop (I finely mince mine to get all the flavour with a tenth of the cooking time). Set the shells aside - the flesh left on the skins will brown/blacken as it oxidizes, but don't worry, it doesn't effect the taste).
4. In a large oiled frying pan over medium-high heat, combine chopped eggplant, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and salt; stir to combine. Add prepared couscous, chickpeas, and chopped cilantro.
5. In another, smaller pan over low-medium heat, combine cumin, cinnamon, paprika, and black pepper; gently roast until fragrant. Add tomato soy yogurt and tomato paste until it reaches a nice blend with the spices - you can thin this out if you like. I usually find 2x soy yogurt to tomato paste works nicely. (Don't worry if your yogurt is a bit sweet, in fact, if you have a very sour soygurt you might even benefit from a pinch of sugar.)Mix in about 2/3 of this with your couscous mixture.
6. Take your eggplant skins and stuff them with your couscous mixture. Place on your baking sheet and cover with tinfoil (or if you're like me and don't like the waste, place a roasting pan upside down over your tray). Bake, covered, for 20 minutes. When ready, drizzle the rest of your yogurt/spice/tomato sauce over the top of the eggplant halves and garnish with a bit more cilantro and another helping of plain soygurt. Serve with a leafy salad.
This is a yummy, quick and easy dinner, it is definitely Moroccan inspired and very adjustable. If you have left over stuffing it makes for a great lunch stuffed in a pita bread with a dollop of soygurt, yum! Hope you enjoy this as much as I do!
Source of recipe: I wrote this recipe