Israeli couscous with eggplant and tomato

Here is the very belated second post of the week. While I am writing this, I still haven’t tasted it because of hopefully unfounded stomach fears… but I’ll have some soon and let you know. It smelled and looked amazing, so I think it will be fine.

I had been meaning to make this for several years, but never got around to it, even after Jacqui found and bought me some whole-wheat Israeli couscous (for less than like $8/lb, which is what Fairway sells it for, blehhh).

I don’t know if it’s because this happened so long ago or because it was really easy, but I can’t think of a whole lot to say about this. It was easy.

I take a LOT of pictures of steam by accident.

I chopped a lot of things: shallots, eggplant, tomato. There were vegetables all over my entire kitchen and it was out of control. I was listening to The Splendid Table, as usual, and someone said, “Always keep your workspace clean.” I went, bah! MY KITCHEN IS THE SIZE OF A VERY SMALL CARDBOARD BOX. (I could have said shoebox, but that’s an old analogy.)

I am eating rhubarb tart right now. It’s morning, and it’s very yummy. When I woke up this morning Fitzpatrick was sleeping with his head on my arm, so that bodes well for the day, I think.

I cooked the couscous in some vegetable broth. If you were a better person than I (or if I had not just thrown out three bags of gross old vegetable bits I had been saving for stock), you/I would make your own stock, but you/I both will/did not do that. NBD. The couscous smelled awesome in the end. It looked brown, because it was whole-wheat.

After I started taking it out of the pot.

I cooked the shallots, garlic, spices, and eggplant in some olive oil, then added the tomatoes and more broth, then cooked for like half an hour, then added the couscous, then… DID NOT EAT IT. PSYCH.

Shit, I just remembered I have a ton of basil in my fridge that has probably gone bad. It has not been a good week for eating things I bought. Boooo.

Israeli couscous with eggplant and tomato
From Yasmin Fahr and Serious Eats

1 3/4 c vegetable broth
1 c Israeli couscous (whole wheat or otherwise)
3 tbsp olive oil [NOTE: Now that I’ve eaten some of this, I feel that this was way too much oil. The eggplant should be dry-cooked until they give off most of their water, and then a smaller amount of olive oil should be added.]
1 medium shallot, sliced (oops, I diced) (about 1/4 c)
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large eggplant, diced
8 plum tomatoes, cored and chopped (I didn’t really know what this meant. At first I seeded them, but then I stopped to make it saucier. And I just didn’t use the cores, even though they didn’t seem particularly tough and I think it would have been fine. But who knows, maybe it would not have. Also, I used five vine tomatoes and that seemed like enough)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp red pepper flakes
6 to 8 basil leaves, chopped

Heat 1 1/2 c broth in a skillet/pan/Dutch oven/whatever to a boil. Add the couscous; reduce heat to a simmer. Cover, stirring sometimes, until liquid is absorbed. This took me less than 8 minutes, I think, and I didn’t stir enough and had some not-quite-burnt vegetable broth at the bottom. Set couscous aside.

Add olive oil to skillet. Heat on medium-high; then add shallots, turmeric, and salt. Cook 3-4 minutes, stirring, then add garlic and cook for another minute.

Add eggplant and cook until it starts to soften (she says 3-4 minutes; I think I just got bored after 3-4 minutes). Stir frequently so it doesn’t all absorb the oil in one place. Add the tomatoes, 1/2 c broth, paprika, and red pepper. Cook, stirring for a while, until the tomatoes begin to break down a bit (did this happen? I don’t know), then cover and cook on low heat for about 20 minutes. (I gave it 30 for maximum break-downage.)

Add couscous; add s&p. Store in your fridge indefinitely without tasting. (And add the basil before eating.)

Note 2: I liked this, but it was kind of low on flavor (part of that could be the tomatoes’ fault). I added a bunch of parmesan, which helped; and I accidentally added some rosemary that had found its way into the parmesan, which was REALLY good. I may start eating more rosemary. Also, this should not be frozen. It becomes mush.

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