recipe: Couscous Salad with Eggplant and Feta suitable as vegetarian main course or a side for a lamb dish
Peggy Lampman | Contributor
With the unseasonably warm weather we're having, I'm thinking a vegetarian, main course salad loaded with beefy eggplant and tangy feta will scratch the itch.
This salad is splendid with any type of lamb; roast lamb, lamb chops, ground lamb patties or lamb kebobs. It may also be made up to 24 hours in advance; simply reseason and toss with the tomatoes, feta and mint just before serving.
Time to drain eggplant: 30 minutes
Active Time: 15 minutes
Number of servings (yield): apx. 8 servings
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
10 ounces couscous, plain or whole grain
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (1-2 lemons)
1 teaspoon garlic
1/2 teaspoon coriander, optional
1 pint (10 ounces) red or yellow grape tomatoes, washed and halved
1/2 cup (3/4 ounce) loosely packed mint leaves, washed and chopped, reserving extra sprigs for garnish
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, plus 1/4 cup cubed feta for garnish
1. Wash eggplant and, with a vegetable peeler, remove strips of skin leaving thin black stripes on eggplant. Cut into 1/2-inch slices, lightly salt and place on a clean cloth or paper towels. Allow moisture to drain from eggplant 30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
3. Cut eggplant into 1-inch diced pieces (you should have 6 cups diced eggplant) and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil. On a foil-lined baking sheet, bake eggplant on middle rack of oven until lightly browned and just tender, 10-12 minutes. Reserve.
4. Cook couscous according to package instructions.
5. Make a dressing by whisking together lemon juice, garlic, coriander, if using, and remaining 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil. Toss couscous, eggplant, cherry tomatoes, mint and feta with dressing. Garnish with reserved mint sprigs and feta.
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