Couscous, which is presteamed, cracked semolina, is among the lightest and fluffiest of grains. It makes an excellent bed for bean and vegetable dishes and is also ideal as a stuffing, as it quickly absorbs all the flavors around it. This recipe is from Vegetariana* (Amberwood Press, 1999) by Nava Atlas.
Serves: 4, generously
- 1 cup raw couscous, regular or wholegrain
- 2 medium eggplants, about 1 pound each
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 or 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 scallions, chopped
- 3 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ cup minced fresh parsley or basil
- 1 teaspoon each chili powder and ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric, optional
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 cup pureed soft tofu
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Cut the stem ends off the eggplants and cit each in half lengthwise. With a sharp knife, carefully cut away the eggplant pulp, leaving a shell about ½ inch thick all around. Chop the eggplant pulp that you have removed into small dice.
Heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of water in a large skillet. Add the diced eggplant and the garlic and cook, covered, over low heat until the eggplant is just tender. Stir occasionally. Add the scallions and tomatoes and cook until they have softened a bit. Add the remaining ingredients, including the couscous, stir together, and remove from the heat.
Arrange the eggplant shells in a lightly oiled shallow baking dish. Stuff with the couscous mixture and cover loosely with foil. Bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the eggplant shell can be easily pierced through with a fork but has not yet collapsed.
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