SAVORY SUMMER RATATOUILLE WITH COUSCOUS
Dishing Up Maryland
by Lucie L. Snodgrass
Lushly flavorful, this traditional French summer dish uses summer's bounty of tomatoes, zucchini, and eggplants. It's also wonderful with new potatoes or with a little local feta cheese and a loaf of Crusty Whole-Wheat Bread.
• 1 large eggplant
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
• 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
• 2 small zucchini, quartered and cut into 1-inch pieces
• 3 cups diced fresh plum tomatoes
• 2 tsps chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp dried basil
• 1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves or 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
• 1 tsp chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 tsp dried oregano
• 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 2½ cups Chicken Stock or Vegetable Stock
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 2½ cups couscous, preferably tomato or spinach variety
1. Cut the eggplant into 2-inch cubes and transfer it to a paper towel-lined colander. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the salt and leave it to drain for 30 minutes.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes over medium to low heat, until soft. Add the eggplant and stir to distribute the oil, then cover. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Add the zucchini, tomatoes, basil, rosemary, oregano, thyme, pepper, and the remaining teaspoon salt. Stir, cover, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, until the eggplant and zucchini are tender, but not mushy.
4. Fill a medium saucepan with the stock, add the butter, and bring to a boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the couscous, stir, cover, and set aside for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Serve immediately with the ratatouille.