Couscous and Eggplant Salad

eggplant_and_couscous_salad_2Have you ever tried eggplant?  What a beautiful vegetable, it would rank as probably the most colourful of vegetables and particularly healthy as well. I have not eaten much eggplant in the past, but now enjoy it regularly. Eggplant may help to prevent cancer by counteracting dietary carcinogens and have shown to reduce cholesterol. They are a good source of fibre and improve bowel function. And they taste great roasted! This dish is a personal favourite, I will often eat this with a serving of the Roasted Beetroot Salad as well.
Select an eggplant which is firm with no bruises or blemishes, and grow themn yourself like I do. They love the heat, so plant in spring and watch them grow

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sized eggplant. Peel & cut in 1 inch cubes.
  • 250gr. green beans. Slice into small lengths.
  • 1 Cup cherry tomatoes halved.
  • 1 Cup (250mg) couscous, add 250ml boiling water.
  • 6 large cloves of fresh garlic, peeled and thinly sliced.
  • 3 Tblsp. pine nuts, lightly dry roasted.
  • 2 Tblsp. Raisins. Soak in a little hot water for 1/2hr & drain.
  • 1 x 400gr can of chickpeas (or fresh, soaked & cooked)
  • Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground pepper to suit
  • 2 Tblsp. finely chopped basil leaves for flavour
  • Kalamata or black olives to taste

Method

  1. Slice the aubergine length-ways into long thin slices, about 10 – 12 ml thick. Put a little olive oil on a large plate and dip each slice in the oil, letting the excess oil drip off. Transfer the aubergine slices to a barbeque grill rack heated to medium and cook, moving them around often to prevent scorching. When the slices are tender, golden and lightly charred around the edges, transfer to a clean plate and season with a little Himalayan crystal salt. Alternatively, cook aubergine slices in a ridged grill pan heated to medium high, you can also roast the strips in an oven.
  2. Put the couscous in a bowl and pour over the boiling water. Stir once, then cover and leave for 10 minutes. Add a little butter and fluff up with a fork, cover again and leave until cool.
  3. Toast the pine nuts in a small dry frying pan over a medium heat until pale brown, shaking the pan from time to time to encourage even browning. Tip them onto a side plate to cool.
  4. Blanch the fresh green beans (don’t use frozen, yuk) in a saucepan of gently boiling salted water for a few minutes until they just lose their raw crunch. Drain and rinse with cold water at once, then drain well.
  5. Mix all the dressing ingredients together and pour onto the couscous. Mix thoroughly but carefully. Add salad dressing, raisins, pine nuts, beans, chickpeas and tomatoes and aubergine slices and toss together. Grind over a little black pepper. Pile couscous into a mound on a serving plate and serve.

Aubergine Salad Dressing                                          

  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • A large pinch of salt & pepper
  • In a small jar add the ingredients and shake well. All ingredients should combine beautifully!
  • Add just before serving. This salad tastes even better the day after.

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