This grilled eggplant salad is perfect cold on a hot summer day and just as good heated up. A great vegetarian meal or side dish to bring to the party.
Growing up with a Lebanese grandmother I learned to love the flavor of eggplant. Two family favorite dishes are Baba Ganoush and eggplant stew so when I was thinking about a side dish to bring to my brother's house I thought I'd make a grilled eggplant salad with some Palestinian couscous.
You don't need to peel the eggplant. Just cut off the top and bottom and then slice them about 1/2 - 1 inch thick slices. Brush on a little olive oil and season the slices with salt and pepper.
Grill the eggplant slices on both side for 5 to 10 minutes on the grill. This may vary depending on your grill.
They should look like the picture shown above and be slightly soft.
What is Palestinian Couscous?
Palestinian couscous aka Maftoul is very similar to pearled couscous sometimes referred to as Israeli couscous. Where I live you can find a box of pearled couscous in the grocery store in the rice section. I have bought the Near East brand many times.
However, when I went to the store they were out of the plain pearled couscous. Then I remembered buying a box of Matfoul at a middle eastern grocery store in the strip district so I used it instead. Either would work great in this recipe.
I added chopped fresh parsley and basil but you could use oregano, thyme and other fresh herbs if you like.
A large handful of mini heirloom tomatoes were added into the mix. You could use any kind of tomato but I like the look and added color the little heirloom tomatoes gave the dish.
On a final note. There was some leftover so I microwaved it the next day and it was delicious hot. In fact, I'm definitely thinking of making this as a hot dish in the near future.
- 3 large eggplants
- 1.5 cups fresh baby heirloom tomatoes chopped in half
- 1.5 cups dry Palestinian couscous - or pearled couscous
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 cup olive for brushing on the eggplant to grill
- salt and pepper
- 2 cloves of garlic grated or crushed
- 1/3 cup EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Cut the tops and bottoms off the eggplants.
- Slice the eggplants in 1/2 inch slices.
- Brush olive oil on both sides of the eggplant slices
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper
- Grill eggplant until softened ~ 5 mins on each side.
- Remove and allow to cool.
- Meanwhile, cook the couscous according to the directions.
- Chop grilled eggplant into bite-sized pieces.
- Toss eggplant with basil, parsley, and tomatoes, and couscous.
- Combine all ingredients of the dressing and pour over eggplant mixture.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
You can substitute herbs to your liking. Oregano or marjoram would be great in this recipe. Also if fresh garlic is too much consider roasting it first or just use some garlic powder.