Recipe: Grilled Eggplant with Gluten Free Couscous and Greek Yogurt Dressing

Sometimes…it’s fun to ignore those magical CSA bin vegetables and go off the beaten path.  Besides, while I love having fresh and local produce delivered to my door, I also love the fun and buzz of the local’s farmer’s market.  And that’s exactly what my roommate and I did this week.  While we have some great bin ingredients, there was an amazing recipe in the October 2014 issue of Vegetarian Times…and the only ingredient I currently had in the home was the couscous.

Don’t panic.  This is gluten-free couscous that came in my Cuisine Cube this month.  I was pretty stoked about that and really wanted to use it right away.  So, that same day as I was flipping through the Vegetarian Times magazine (that had also just arrived)…one dish stood out, as it utilized couscous.  When Cathy read the magazine after me, she also spotted it.  So, that Saturday morning, we went out to a large farmer’s market in Louisville and picked up the necessary ingredients to make this dish.

I prepped most of it last night, so today, the only thing I needed to do to complete the dish was slice and grill the eggplant.  Simple…

Recipe: Grilled Eggplant with Gluten Free Couscous and Greek Yogurt Dressing

Grilled Eggplant with Gluten Free Couscous and Greek Yogurt Dressing

Grilled Eggplant with Gluten Free Couscous and Greek Yogurt Dressing

Servings: 4
Time: Prep 30 minutes; Cook 10 minutes

Ingredients for salad:

  • 2/3 cup couscous (I used a gluten-free brand)
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds, divided
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, diced (1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar

Ingredients for dressing:

  • 7 ounces low-fat plain Greek yogurt (or dairy-free yogurt)
  • 1/2 cup chopped Persian cucumber
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic

Ingredients for eggplant:

  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh mint
  • 2 small Italian eggplants, each but on the bias into 6 slices

Directions:

To make the salad: Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan.  Stir in couscous.  Cover pan, remove from heat, and let stand for 5 minutes.  Transfer to bowl and cool for 10 minutes.

Stir 3/4 cup pomegranate seeds and remaining ingredients into couscous, and season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Chill for 1 hour, or overnight.

To make the dressing: Purée all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

To make eggplant: Preheat grill or grill pan over medium-high heat.  Whisk together oil and mint in a small bowl.  Brush eggplant slices with mint oil and season with salt and pepper, if desired.  Grill slices 4 minutes per side, or until tender and nicely grill-marked.

Divide salad among plates.  Top each serving with 3 eggplant slices, 1 tablespoon of remaining pomegranate seeds, and 2 tablespoons of the dressing.

Serve any remaining dressing on the side.

~*~*~

I made only one minor change.  Instead of making the mint oil, I instead added a hit of cayenne pepper, cumin, and garlic powder to the olive oil instead, then brushed that over each slice of eggplant and grilled it.  It worked out perfectly.  And the mint dressing is so light and fresh that it really just brings everything together on the plate.  I highly recommend this hot and cold salad.  It’s simple and easy and beyond delicious for sure!  I can’t wait to make it again.

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