Makes:4 to 6 servings
Baba Ghanoush is a creamy Middle Eastern dip made with eggplant and tahini that’s usually scooped up as a snack with flatbread. Inspired by its flavors, we’ve created this simple, healthy side dish that is satisfying as a light lunch or served next to Oregano-Marinated Grilled Chicken.
What to buy: Israeli couscous has larger, pearl-shaped granules and is more glutinous than the smaller, more grainlike North African variety.
Make sure to buy roasted, not raw, tahini. If you’re not sure which is which, check the label for roasted sesame seeds.
1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound), trimmed and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and quartered
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh Italian parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
Place the lemon juice and tahini in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Add the garlic and shallot and stir to combine. While whisking continuously, slowly drizzle in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until completely incorporated; set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the couscous and cook, stirring occasionally, until light golden brown and toasted, about 3 minutes.
Carefully add the water (the mixture may sputter), season with salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the couscous is tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain well through a fine-mesh strainer. While still warm, add the couscous to the reserved tahini dressing and stir to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed; set aside.
Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill to high (about 450°F to 550°F). Meanwhile, place the eggplant and red pepper slices on a baking sheet and rub both sides with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
When the grill is ready, place the eggplant and pepper slices on the grill and cook, uncovered, flipping halfway through, until browned and dark grill marks appear on both sides, about 6 to 8 minutes total for the eggplant and 10 to 12 minutes total for the red pepper. Transfer to a cutting board.
When the vegetables are cool enough to handle, cut them into small dice and add them to the couscous. Sprinkle with the parsley and stir to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.