This Roasted Eggplant Couscous Salad is veggie-packed and tossed in a tangy red wine vinegar dressing. Top it off with fresh herbs & avocado.
Tired of your run-of-the-mill salad? This Roasted Eggplant Couscous Salad is layered with so many flavors and textures and can be made ahead of time for any easy grab and go lunch. You can also serve it up with falafel for a heartier meal.
How to make roasted eggplant
The roasted eggplant in this salad is one of my favorite components. If you think you don't like eggplant, think again. The inside gets tender, the outside gets caramelized. And you just need a couple of spices, some olive oil and a hot oven.
A couple of notes about roasting eggplant:
- Salting the eggplant is optional. A lot of recipes call for you to salt the eggplant before roasting. This removes any bitterness. I find that if my eggplant is fresh and pretty firm, I can skip this step. BUT, if your eggplant is a little older, you may want to do this to be on the safe side.
- Should I peel the eggplant? In my opinion, this recipe is better if the skin is left on. It will caramelize in the oven and keep the eggplant pieces intact. But, if you really hate the skin, you can remove it.
- Don't make the pieces too small. Eggplant has the tendency to turn into mush if you cut the pieces too small. It may look like the pieces are large, but once they are roasted, they will shrink.
How to make Roasted Eggplant Couscous Salad
Once the eggplant is in the oven, it is time to prep the rest of the salad. Toss the chickpeas in a few spices and set them aside - they will go into the oven the last 10 minutes of the eggplant roasting.
The couscous prep will vary depending on the type you use. I used pearl couscous - it is my favorite. So, follow the instructions on the package you buy, but be sure to toast the couscous before adding water. It gives it so much more flavor.
The rest of the salad is made up of a red wine vinegar dressing, cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, shallots, avocado and fresh herbs.
How to assemble Roasted Eggplant Couscous Salad
You can eat this salad at room temperature or cold. Either way you will want to toss the eggplant, chickpeas and couscous in the dressing and let it marinate for 20 minutes. This will allow the flavors to come together.
When you are ready to eat toss in the cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs. Top it all off with sliced avocado and black pepper. Now, get ready to dig in.
Need more recipe inspo? Check these out:
Roasted Eggplant Couscous Salad
FOR THE EGGPLANT
- 1 eggplant* cut in 1" cubes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp fresh thyme chopped
- ½ tsp salt & pepper
FOR THE CHICKPEAS
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1 tsp olive oil
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp oregano
FOR THE COUSCOUS
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 ⅓ cup pearl couscous
- 2 cups water
- pinch of salt
FOR THE SALAD
- 1.5 tbsp olive oil
- 1.5 tbsp oil from sun-dried tomato jar
- 2-3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic diced
- 1 shallot finely diced
- 2 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes roughly chopped
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 2 tbsp fresh herbs I used parsley & oregano
- 1 avocado sliced
- black pepper for serving
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Add the eggplant ingredients to a bowl and toss to combine. Spread out on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Combine the chickpea ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine. Spread out on a baking sheet and set aside. After the eggplant has roasted for 20 minutes, use a metal spatula to carefully flip the eggplant and place the eggplant and the chickpeas back in the oven for 10 minutes. Keep an eye on the eggplant - if it starts getting too dark, remove before the chickpeas.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a pan and add dry couscous. Toss the couscous until it is toasted - approx. 3 minutes. Add the water & salt and bring to a boil. Lower heat and cover until all of the liquid is absorbed.**
- Add the olive oil, sun-dried tomato oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, shallot, sun-dried tomatoes and oregano to a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
- To the same bowl add the couscous, chickpeas & eggplant. Toss to combine and set aside for 20 minutes.
- To serve add the cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs and avocado. Toss to combine and top with pepper.
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