I’ve made variations on this a couple times with equally successful results. For instance, once I made risotto and then finished in the same manner as the cous cous. This is one of those vegan/vegetarian dishes that will make the meat eaters like myself temporarily forget about the lack of meat. I don’t really know how Moroccan this truly is, but the inspiration was from a recent visit to a Moroccan restaurant that I absolutely loved, I had lamb shanks that was so tender the meat fell off the bone with the slightest touch and absolutely melted in my mouth. However, my girlfriend’s vegetarian cous cous seemed to be about 95% cous cous. So I took some inspiration, cous cous, squash, eggplant, spices, and spruced it up with some Asian fusion and making it a heartier dish with more “meaty” vegetables. This dish had savory, sweet, spicy, protein, and endless amounts of flavor from a number of different sources. I really enjoyed the layers of flavor in this dish.
More to come from this dinner, we’ve seen the avocado and crab crostini, Moroccan cous cous, ginger and carrot soup and dairy-free bread pudding coming soon!
Moroccan Cous Cous w/Grilled Eggplant
- 1 large butternut squash, peeled and evenly diced
- 1/2 tbsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp tumeric
- 1 Japanese eggplant, thinly and evenly sliced
- 2 shallots, finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 thai chile, finely diced
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
- 1 package cous cous
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 12 scallions, cut on bias
- 1 cup chopped or sliced almonds, toasted
- 1/4 cups golden raisins, chopped
- cherry tomatoes, halved
- balsamic vinegar
- drizzle honey or agave nectar depending on fully vegan
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste and season throughout
Preheat oven to 375. Toss squash in roasting pan with cumin, tumeric, salt, pepper, and olive oil. In a separate roasting dish sprinkle balsamic vinegar, honey or agave nectar, olive oil, salt and pepper on tomatoes and toss gently. Roast squash until fork tender, about 30 minutes, tossing every 5-7 minutes. Roast tomatoes for 10 minutes on 250 then turn up to 375 and roast an additional 30 minutes with squash. Meanwhile, heat grill pan. Lightly brush eggplants w/olive oil and grill on pan in batches to get nice diamond grill marks, season w/light sprinkling of nutmeg, salt, and pepper immediately after eggplant goes on the grill pan. Cover grilled eggplant w/foil and set aside, keep in oven, about 170, if desired. Heat olive oil in medium saucepan on medium heat. Add shallots, garlic, chile, and ginger, saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Stir in cous cous, take off heat, and cover with a lid for 5 minutes. Transfer cous cous to large mixing bowl and add squash, almonds, season to taste w/salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Garnish w/oven roasted tomatoes, scallions, and wrap cous cous into a pile w/grilled eggplant slices.