Do you platter? You know, where you kind of go through your kitchen like "...So what I can I finish/add together to make a cohesive, balanced meal?". Or part way through your search you get distracted and start organizing spices... But eventually, you get back to deciding how to make dinner and the easiest answer is: serve it as a bowl or platter. The same theory rings true for having people over to eat al fresco in the summer. Just make a big bowl/platter and people can pick how much of each thing they want! Everyone's happy.
This is my summer gift to you for your first outdoor meal of June: grilled or baked spiced eggplant, couscous and a bunch of other mix ins. Together you get the balance we always talk about here. There's something warm and something cool. Something salty, savory, sweet, tart...seriously. We've got it all. Including a wine pairing. And even as a self proclaimed eggplant hater (I even named a recipe to that respect a few years ago), I could not get enough of this recipe.
Spicy Summer Couscous Bowl
1 medium egg plant
4 T olive oil
3 t Badia complete seasoning
4 T harissa
4 T plain strained yogurt (I use Icelandic Siggi's but a Greek yogurt works too)
5 kalamata olives, sliced and pitted
1/2 C fresh salsa
1 C couscous, dry
1 1/2 C chicken stock or water
2 t turmeric
5 links pork sausage (apple brown sugar)
1/8 C cilantro leaves, torn
1/8 C mint leaves, torn
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 F. Slice eggplant in half lengthwise. Cross hatch eggplant without piercing the skin. Put on parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with Badia seasoning. Cook for 20 minutes int eh ove OR wrap in foil and cook on covered grill until easily pierced with fork.
While the eggplant is cooking, bring stock or water to a boil. Whisk in cous cous. Remove from heat and cover for 5 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil and stir in turmeric to combine.
Cook sausage. On a large platter, fill the center with couscous. Add ingredients around and grind fresh black pepper over top. Serve with Sauvingon Blanc.
I know lots of people are all about the rosé for summer but my personal favorite is a sauvignon blanc. If you're not really a wine person, this is actually a great wine for you. Not overly oaky like some Chardonnays. Not too light or sweet like a pinot grigio. It's fruity and bright. In general, I think it's a real crowd pleaser of a wine.
Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.