I made this versatile dish for us last week and we gobbled it up without even missing the meat [we love a good steak here in the Shirley household]! It’s fairly easy to make and can be made ahead and thrown back into the oven to heat up again when you’re ready.
To Make Couscous & Eggplant Casserole … Slice off the top [and discard] of a large eggplant and then cut into bite sized cubes, lightly salt and set aside. [I removed the skin from one half of the eggplant and left it on the other just to have different textures.] Saute onions and red peppers in olive oil with salt, pepper, a little bit of cumin, and some cinnamon. Toss in your eggplant cubes [or use a separate pan if yours isn’t big enough] and add a little more olive oil. Be careful with how much oil you are using – eggplant is super absorbent and you don’t want it to be greasy. If you have them on hand, toss in a handful of golden raisins too. Keep on medium heat until tender then remove and set aside.
Meanwhile, cook your couscous according to package directions [mine took just five minutes and I tossed the ‘spice pack’ that was included]. In a small bowl mix about 1/2 cup ricotta cheese [goat cheese or fresh mozzarella would work well in this dish too], fresh chopped parsley, and a squirt of lemon juice [or some orange or lemon zest]. Now the fun part – mix everything together in a casserole dish or baking pan, cover with foil, and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional ten minutes. Eat.
I would have taken a prettier picture of it plated, but we couldn’t wait long enough to eat it. When you have an eight month old that isn’t sleeping through the night, you eat when you can and you do it fast. :-) Enjoy!