Stuffed vegetables are common in Middle Eastern cuisines and are called mahshi in Arabic. Zucchini, squash, and even onions are just a few veggies that are traditionally stuffed. They are usually stuffed with rice as the main ingredient but here I’ve opted for couscous instead. Couscous is granular semolina, a coarse wheat that is often used to make pasta. These mini stuffed eggplants are filled with couscous, herbs, veggies, pomegranate seeds, and traditional Middle Eastern spices like sumac. Sumac has a tart sour flavor that pairs beautifully with this dish! Serve with a side of Cucumber Mint Yogurt Sauce.
Roasted Mini Eggplant with Couscous Stuffing
10 mini eggplants
1.5 cups couscous, cooked
1/4 cup walnuts, crushed
2 tbs fresh dill, chopped
2 tbs fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbs tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 small green pepper, diced
1/2 cup of canned low-sodium crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
2 tsp tbs sumac
1 tsp cumin
Fresh juice from half a lemon
1/3 jalapeno, diced
1/2 tbs olive oil (extra for oiling and drizzle)
Sea salt to taste
Cracked black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and in a deep baking dish add just enough water to cover the bottom surface.
- Slice eggplant 3/4 of the way through, be careful not to cut all the way down. Scoop out some flesh of the eggplant to make space for stuffing. Save the innards, chop them small and save off to the side.
- Place eggplants in a skillet on low heat. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Turn eggplants until skin slightly wrinkles all around. Remove from skillet.
- Next combine couscous, chopped eggplant innards, walnuts, dill, parsley, tomato paste, canned diced tomatoes, green pepper, olive oil, cumin, sumac, lemon juice, jalapeno, pomegranate seeds, and season with sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste. Mix well.
- Stuff each eggplant with couscous mixture and place into deep-dish baking pan and put into the oven for 20 minutes, until tender.
- Remove the eggplants, add to your serving dish alongside Cucumber Mint Yogurt Sauce and enjoy!
www.alaaspantry.com * instagram.com/alaaspantry