Monday, 2 April 2012

Arabian Adventure!

Insalata di Melanzane Speziata al' Arabica con Salsa di Yogurt
 Arabian Spiced Aubergine + Couscous Salad & Yogurt Sauce

Although it may look really exotic, this is actually a very simple dish to make! Spiced with my favorite "Raz al Hanout Rouge"- this grilled eggplant and couscous salad is a light but flavorful meal that you can put together in next to no time!

I love couscous- it is quick and versatile and easy to use- perfect for a hot sunny day or a sultry evening. There are a million and one ways to use couscous... and this is one of them right here!

Start off by chopping fresh parsley and mint nice and finely- I used a good handful of each for each serving. Similarly to tabbuleh, this dish needs that strong herbal component. Add the chopped herbs, along with a finely chopped Spring onion and a teaspoon of turmeric to a the couscous, stir together thoroughly and then pour boiling water over it until it is well covered. Add salt, pepper and the juice of 1 lime and stir one last time. Allow to sit and to soak in the water... and 5 minutes later your couscous will be finished and ready to go!

The eggplant was cut into slices and placed into a dry non-stick pan with some finely chopped bacon bits. I fried it at a high heat until the bacon gave off its fat and in turn, browned off the eggplant really nicely. Once the bacon was crispy and the eggplant was cooked, I added 1 - 2 tablespoons of Raz al Hanout spice and stirred it in well. I then immediately squeezed the juice of 1 whole lemon onto it to deglaze the pan and to pick up all of the good, roasted flavors. I seasoned with salt, pepper, cayenne and added a little grated ginger. And that was the eggplant done!

Now to assemble the salad! I added some sliced cherry tomato and cucumber to the couscous for more freshness and fluffed it all up again nicely. A light drizzle of sesame oil was a nice finishing touch here and then I added the spicy eggplant on top. A few more thin slices of Spring onion and a sprinkle of sesame and it was ready to serve!

I made a little sauce out of yogurt, lime juice, mint and cucumber, which was a nice refreshing addition to the spicy salad- a sprinkle of chili flakes and an exotic evening meal was born!

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