Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Eggplant-Couscous Rolls

My partner has a cookbook entitled, The Rush Hour Cookbook, by the publishers of Eating Well magazine, that he bought sometime in the mid- to late-90's. I recently found it in our basement and began flipping through it. Honestly, it looks like the type of book you might find in the sale section as you're entering Borders or Barnes and Noble.

The cookbook contains very few vegetarian recipes. But I did come across one recipe - Eggplant-Couscous Rolls - that looked interesting and worth trying out.

The end result was quite good. Pair with a glass of white wine, and you've got a nice, light summer meal that's simple to prepare. I will post the recipe for the accompanying carrot salad, which also comes from the cookbook, tomorrow.

FYI: I did end up up with way more couscous filling than I needed. (You can probably get away with using a 1/2 cup of couscous; otherwise, save the leftover couscous and serve it for breakfast the next morning topped with a fried egg and some leftover spaghetti sauce.)

Eggplant-Couscous Rolls
Serves approximately 4

2 1-lb eggplants, each cut lengthwise into 6 or more 1/4-inch slices

About 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cup couscous
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
1 cup your favorite spaghetti sauce (I used the Mario Batali basic tomato sauce, the recipe for which can be found here.)

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Lightly oil two baking sheets. Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with the olive oil and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Turn them over and bake for another 10-15 more minutes, until tender.

While the eggplant slices are baking in the oven, bring 1 1/2 cups of water to boil. Stir in the couscous, thyme, salt, and 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Set the mixture aside and let the couscous absorb the liquid and cool down.

Just before you remove the eggplant slices from the oven, add 3/4 cup of the feta cheese to the couscous, along with the mint and pepper. Fluff the couscous with a fork.

Place a spoonful of the couscous mixture in the center of each eggplant slice and carefully roll the eggplant tightly around the filling. Place the roll seam-side down on a baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil, spoon spaghetti sauce on top of each roll, and bake for another 5 minutes.

To serve, garnish with chopped mint leaves and the remaining 2 tablespoons of feta cheese.


The Cooking Photographer said...

What beautiful food shots. You are really talented.

DAVID said...

Thank you. I get lucky sometimes.

I think the first photo was pretty good. The problem with photographing food that's intended to be eaten is that once hot food has been plated, I have to start shooting really fast before it gets too cold. So I really don't have time to tinker with lighting, etc.

BTW: great post on homemade yogurt on your site, http://www.thecookingphotographer.com. Now those are some awesome photos.

Marta said...

This looks delicious! I love eggplant rolled with anything. I love eggplant in anything! This is indeed perfect for summer.
I just found your blog and I love it!

Dana said...

What a lovely plate! I am veg but I don't love eggplant. I do like it stuffed, especially if it is sliced really thin. This looks terrific!

DAVID said...

Dana, I grew up hating - absolutely hating - eggplant. So I find it funny that one of my favorite vegetarian dishes is eggplant parm.