I ended up with more eggplants than I expected this year. Specifically Ichiban eggplants, otherwise known as “mini” eggplants. Though In my experience, they’re not that mini!
This was my first year growing Ichiban eggplants and I’ve been very impressed with how much fruit one plant can produce. Even while packed in a container between two pepper plants, my Ichiban has produced fruit that is 1/3 to 1/2 the size of normal eggplants you see in the store.
And it’s producing a lot, about 5 - 6 eggplants at any given time. They ripen in about 3 weeks and the plant is constantly putting out new flowers.
Now, in all honestly, eggplant is not something I eat a ton of. When looking for inspiration on what to do with them, I saw a lot of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean inspired recipes. A combination of these recipes, and some inspiration from what I’ve had previously from Blue Apron, led me to develop this Moroccan inspired couscous dish.
We paired this couscous pilaf with my partners favorite chicken shawarma recipe. It was the perfect side dish. The recipe made quite a bit, but we’ve found it’s pretty versatile and even tastes good on it’s own. We threw a little Tzatziki sauce and feta cheese on the leftovers to keep things interesting.
Moroccan Couscous with Roasted Eggplant and Golden Raisins
Takes 20 - 30 minutes to prepare
- 1 cup diced sweet peppers
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cups eggplant, cut into quarter sized pieces
- olive oil
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 1/3 cup couscous (I like the small kind)
- 1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- A few pinches of saffron
- 1 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro
- 1 Tbsp minced fresh mint
- Combine sweet peppers, carrots, onion, and eggplant in a bowl. Cover with olive oil, and salt to taste. Place on a baking sheet and roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are fully cooked (hopefully they will get a slight char). Try to toss them once half way through so they don’t burn on one side.
- While the vegetables are cooking, combine 3 Tbsp of olive oil with the lemon juice, garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp salt. Set aside.
- Add the chicken broth and turmeric to a pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat, and add the couscous, raisins and saffron (if using) to the pot. Stir to combine, then cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Combine the couscous with the lemon/olive oil spice mixture, roasted vegetables, and the cilantro and mint (if using). Stir until everything is mixed in evenly, and enjoy!