Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Couscous and Feta Stuffed Eggplant

We've had this dish on several occasions, and it's always a hit with both of us. The red pepper and apple add some nice sweet notes to the couscous stuffing, and the feta gives the whole dish a nice salty kick. Oh, and don't skip the sherry vinegar. It adds an little bit of acidity that the dish needs in order to come alive. All of this and pine nuts, too -- it's becoming our new weeknight staple!

I eat mine skin and all while A. scoops each bite from the eggplant skin. There is no right or wrong way to eat this Mediterranean-inspired dish. It's a good thing to make for the family or bring to a dinner party with friends.

We made these from the last eggplants to come out of the family garden. Now all of the tomato, eggplant, cucumber, and pepper plants that provided us with so much summer produce have been added to the compost pile, and Steve has planted loads of cabbage that will do well over the winter.

Couscous and Feta Stuffed Eggplant

4 Italian eggplants (or small American eggplants)
1 box Near East Roasted Garlic and Olive Oil Couscous (available at Whole Foods)
1 1/2 cups diced red pepper (about 1 large)
1 cup diced Gala or Pink Lady apple (peeled, about 1 medium)
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup chopped curly parsley
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Cracked black pepper  (to taste)
4 ounces feta (diced, about 1 cup)
2 eggs (beaten)

1 cup 2% Greek yogurt (to garnish)

Prepare the eggplants using THIS quick and reliable method from Fine Cooking. Set aside the roasted eggplants to cool. This step can be done ahead of time, and the eggplants can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Make the couscous according to package directions. In a large mixing bowl, combine the couscous, red pepper, apple, vinegar, pine nuts, parsley, crushed red pepper, cracked black pepper, feta, and eggs. Mix until all ingrediens are incorporated. 

Using your hands, stuff the eggplants. Gently press the couscous mixture into the eggplant until a mound of filling is firmly packed into the baked eggplant. Place onto a 
parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat until all filling has been used. If you have a little extra, just bake it in an oven-proof dish as a pre-meal snack.

Bake stuffed eggplants for 25-30 minutes. Serve warm with a dollop of Greek yogurt. (Makes 4 servings.)


Cathleen said...

Okay, if you hate feta (as I do as in too barn yard a goat/sheep smell) what would you substitute (maybe a Greek Yogurt) or something else? Cathleen

The Chubby Vegetarian said...

just some plain ole mozzarella will do!