This is a favourite amongst the founding posters of this blog, and I think we all have our own incarnations of it, all of them delicious. I think you will find that this is pretty hard to mess up, no matter what substitutions need to be made. I originally found it here and my friend Meagan has her version here, and I’m sure more variations could be found. This is a fairly simple recipe, it just requires a few different pots on the go, but altogether you can have dinner on the table in under 45 min pretty easily.
1 1/2 cups Israeli couscous
1 large onion, sliced into thin rings
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 Chinese eggplant (the long skinny ones) or 2 baby eggplants, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
10-15 button mushrooms, quartered (or portabello would be really good)
1/3 – 1/2 cup cubed or crumbled feta (see earlier posts about my love of cubed feta)
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp (rounded) of tahini
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper
Fresh herbs of your choice (optional)
1. Heat a tsp or so of olive oil in a pan over medium low heat and start cooking your onions. You want to slow cook them until they are nice and brown all over, which should take 20-30 mins (always longer than I think). This brings out the sugars and makes them WAY more flavourful.
2. Meanwhile, get a big pot of water boiling to drop your couscous into. You want to cook until al dente, which I found took about 10-15 mins, but test for yourself and cook them however you want to eat them. When done, drain, rinse with cold water and put in a big bowl.
3. Once your couscous is started, heat another tsp or so of olive oil in a big pan and add the garlic. Stirring until just brown. Add the eggplant next. Once it starts to soften, add the mushrooms and red peppers, cooking until all is cooked but the peppers should still have some crunch.
4. While everything is cooking, whisk together the dressing (all ingredients) and chop up your feta.
5. Add the onions, eggplant/red pepper/mushroom mixture, and feta to the couscous. Add fresh herbs if using (parsley is great and I think mint would be lovely). Toss all with the dressing and serve immediately. This is great warm, at room temperature and cold, leftover, straight out of the fridge, preferably on a bed of arugula. Which somehow just made me think how great some shaved, stir fried fennel would be in here; so many possibilities.