This Eggplant and Basil with Israeli Couscous is a wonderful vegetarian side dish packed with flavor. Ready in 20 minutes!
Other than a particular dip that my mom makes with onion, garlic, and roasted eggplant, I’ve never been a fan of the purple vegetable. And who knows – maybe all these years, the only real reason I like her dip is because she serves it on Ritz Crackers. “Everything’s better on a Ritz,” right?
It’s in season, though, so a lot of my wonderful blogger cohorts are posting some fabulous looking eggplant recipes. And the latest issue of EveryDay Food arrived, which showcases it, too. All the beautiful pictures and fantastic descriptions wore me down. I decided to rethink my distaste.
I went with this one recipe, since Martha rarely disappoints. The prep turned out to be super easy, with just a few simple ingredients, and it sure smelled good cooking. And the first bite? Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! Sweet and buttery. Not bitter at all.
I took another bite. And another. Then decided that I better share.
I started distributing spoonfuls. Paul didn’t care for it. (Not surprised.) And Haley spit it out. (Whatever.) Trevor, on the other hand, loved it, displaying the “more” sign frantically. But his belly could only hold a cup full.
I shoveled one more helping in my mouth, which left me with a perfect amount for lunch the next day. Except then…I ate a little more. And at this point, it seemed silly to save such a small portion.
So I finished it off.
Yes, that’s right. None of it ever left the mixing bowl. I stood there at the kitchen counter, spoon in hand, and polished off the entire amount. The entire amount. I was so full, I didn’t even touch the pita bread I had planned on serving with it.
Serves 4? Hmm. Not this time.
Eggplant and Basil with Israeli Couscous
- 3/4 cup Israeli couscous (pearl couscous)
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large eggplant , cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 3 shallots , trimmed and quartered
- salt and pepper ,to taste
- 3 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup lightly packed fresh basil , torn
- In a small saucepan, combine couscous, vegetable broth, and salt. Bring to a boil, stir once, and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook until the couscous is tender, about 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, in a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid, heat oil over medium-high. Add eggplant and shallots and stir to coat; season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring frequently to prevent burning, until shallots are caramelized and eggplant is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- In a serving bowl, combine eggplant mixture and couscous. Stir in vinegar and basil and season salad with another sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Other Eggplant recipes you might like!
Spicy Roasted Eggplant and Cherry Tomatoes – Belly Full
Eggplant Benedict – All Day I Dream About Food
Eggplant Rolatini – Recipe Girl
Reader Questions and Reviews
I was finally able to make this yesterday, and I was able to control myself and only eat 1/2 of the recipe!
Even though it looked really good, the eggplant still had me a bit skeptical. Well, skeptics out there, you need not be. This is REALLY GOOD! I actually added one more tsp. of the vinegar for a touch more tanginess, but that’s just a personal thing. SO GOOD!
I can’t find Israeli couscous to save my life! Yes, I have looked in all sections of the grocery store and even asked the clerks for help. Help!
That looks good!
Eggplant is so versatile! A great vegetable to cook with so many type of methods and combination! This recipe is great!
I love eggplant, I would be right there with you, shoveling away.
I love the fact that this never even made it to the table. Now that’s some dish.
I love eggplants and am trying different cooking methods to make my son love eggplants. This one looks great. I will give it a try soon ;)
Looks yummy and I already have eggplant!
You’re adorable. :P
LOL! U r so funny amy. I have not tried this type of couscous but love the look of it. Certainly the use of eggplant grabbed my attention straight away. I bet it is tasty and healthy!
Jen – the only thing I changed was the amount of eggplant. Their recipe called for a pound, but with my apprehension of not liking it, I just used 1 large eggplant, which I think was 1/2 pound. Personally, even if you love eggplant, I think it was enough. Definitely try and find the Israeli couscous. The big pearl size lends texture to the dish. I find it in the ethnic section of my market.
m already craving!! yummmmm!!
Very cute post! I am dying to find ways to convert the other non-eggplant eaters in my family over. (Yes, that would be all of the other members of my family) But you’ve convinced me it can be done! Thank you for great inspiration.
You are so funny! This whole blog made me giggle.
I don’t think Jay would like this either. I can already hear, “where’s the meat?!” BUT, I can definitely make it for me. The photo makes me drool, and if YOU like it, then I certainly will. Did you change anything from the EveryDay Foods or go “by the book”? I haven’t gotten mine yet.
Thanks for another veggie recipe, Amy. This sounds tasty, and, dare I say, autumnal? I’ll print it out for Chef Chopper, and get to the market for an eggplant!
I like eggplant, but I don’t cook with it enough! Thanks for the recipe!
Haha! I knew you would be converted. It’s like Natashya commented on one of my many eggplant posts…it’s all about finding the right recipe. I think there are probably very few foods that I don’t like, I just need to find the right way to eat them. The recipe does looks delicious. I personally intend to bookmark it and make it in the near future.
Iiiinteresting. I had a similar experience with eggplant. Not sure I’d say I “like” it yet, but I did have it in a recipe a few months ago that was REALLY good. (I believe it was at Heidi’s restaurant in Minneapolis.) It’s all in the prep. All in the prep.
I’ve had some bad experiences with eggplant parmesan that have pretty much made me swear off this vegetable, but I certainly recognize there are plenty of other ways to prepare it. You sure make a pretty strong case for giving it another shot, though.
I would have eaten that whole portion too, looks delicious with the Israeli couscous!
Bless you! I just glumly picked up another bag of eggplant from my CSA, and I totally stumped for ideas to try next!
My honey just discovered how much he liked couscous last week and I can’t wait to make this for him! I’m guessing I could probably sub regular couscous if I can’t find the Israeli kind right? I LOVE eggplant dishes!
I love eggplant too :) And I love simple recipes :) And the eggplant in your picture is so golden and delicious!..
I love eggplant!! This sounds outstanding. I can always count on you to provide me with SIMPLE yummy dinners/lunches, Amy. You the bomb!
I’m usually partial to meals with meat in them, but I’ve had some tasty vegetarian dishes in the last year or so. And I actually like eggplant, maybe in part because of it’s meaty texture. This looks really good. I’m not familiar with israeli couscous – is that sold in the same section as the regular couscous?
This looks really good, I read Everday Food as well and saw all the eggplant recipes and was disappointed. I need to give it another shot.
YUM. Brad isn’t a huge eggplant fan, so if I make this, I’m pretty sure I’ll find myself inhaling the whole thing as well. INCLUDING the cup that your son ate, because I do not have a son.