Summer is slowly fading into early fall and before you know it, fat red tomatoes, sweet corn and fresh berries will give way to root vegetables and fruits like apples and pears. But there’s still time to enjoy one of the late-summer season’s most versatile offerings — eggplant.
Closely related to tomatoes (both nightshade fruits are members of the genus Solanum), eggplant can be added to a stir-fry, stuffed like zucchini with meat and cheese, roasted and mashed with lemon and garlic into a dip and be breaded and fried. Eggplant also is a wonderful low-cal and high-fiber addition to a grain or pasta salad.
Here, baby eggplants are cubed and roasted along with sweet onion, and then tossed with pearl couscous (a type of roasted pasta shaped like rice) in a lemon-garlic tahini dressing. It can be served as a vegetarian main course or as a side with something like roasted chicken.
This recipe works for any kind of eggplant, though baby varieties tend to have more of a tender flesh and will roast up creamier.
I used fairy eggplant, a petite (and adorable) heirloom variety with pale purple and white stripes that is especially velvety when cooked. If you are not find the Middle Eastern spice mix, za’atar, you can use Italian seasoning.
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