My New Year’s resolution continues with this week’s post in my Creative Cold Lunch series. I think with all the cold weather we’ve been having in Minnesota lately, I’ve been craving flavorful dishes that are hearty without the heaviness. Don’t get me wrong, I love soups in the winter, but there gets to be a point where I need something different. I had a box of Trader Joe’s Israeli Couscous (larger than traditional couscous) in my cupboard and decided to throw a few things together to make a Mediterranean pasta salad. I loved the earthiness of the eggplant with the freshness of the lemon and mint. The salad is great cold but can also be heated too.
3 cups of cooked couscous (I used Trader Joe’s Israeli Couscous and followed the directions to brown it in olive oil)
1 medium Eggplant
1 medium Cucumber
1 cup Cherry Tomatoes (I used yellow ones)
1/2 cup Olives
2 tsp Olive Oil
1 Lemon (zest and juice)
1 cup Fresh Mint or Parsley (chopped)
Preheat oven to 375.
Prepare couscous according to package directions. Set aside.
Slice eggplant (leave on skin) and place on cookie sheet lined with tin foil. I didn’t put anything on my eggplant, just left it plain but if you want to, you can drizzle on olive oil and salt. Roast eggplant until soft, about 30 minutes.
Once eggplant is cooled, cut into cubes. Slice up cucumber, tomatoes and olives and toss with couscous. Drizzle olive oil over salad and add lemon zest and juice. Add fresh herbs.
Makes 6 servings