This stuffed eggplant recipe begins with tender roasted eggplant halves that are filled with a simple vegan stuffing of instant cooked couscous, chickpeas, tomatoes, and fresh herbs. This makes a beautiful vegetarian main or a side dish next to your favorite protein! Serve it warm or at room temperature.
Cut eggplant in half lengthwise. Season the flesh with kosher salt. Set aside, flesh side up, for 20 to 30 minutes to allow the eggplant to "sweat." Pat dry with a paper towel. (This is an optional step but can make a big difference).
Heat the oven to 425 degrees F.
In a small bowl, mix together the spices (allspice, coriander, paprika, and ground cinnamon).
Pat eggplant dry. Brush the flesh with extra virgin olive oil. Set aside about 1 teaspoon of the spice mixture and use the rest to season the eggplant (rub the spice mixture allover the top of each eggplant half.)
Roast the Eggplant. Place eggplant halves, flesh side up, on a generously oiled sheet pan. Bake in the heated oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until the eggplant flesh is nice and tender.
Cook the instant couscous, while the eggplant is roasting. Heat a little bit of extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan. Add the couscous and cook briefly, stirring regularly, until toasted. Add 1 cup of boiling water to the couscous and immediately remove from heat. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes until the couscous is cooked (it will double in size).
Make the filling. Fluff the couscous with a fork and season with a dash of salt and the 1 teaspoon of spice mixture you reserved earlier. Add chickpeas, chopped tomatoes, green onions, and parsley. Toss to combine.
If you’re adding tahini sauce, make it according to this recipe.
Assemble the stuffed eggplant. Arrange the roasted eggplant on a serving platter, flesh side up. With the back of a spoon, push the flesh down to create somewhat of a cavity for the couscous filling. Spoon in the couscous filling. Drizzle with tahini. Enjoy!
Cook's Tip: If you have the time, don't skip salting the eggplant. This step helps the eggplant sweat out its bitterness and also helps break down its spongy texture.
For gluten free option: Use cooked quinoa in place of couscous.
Make Ahead: You can roast the eggplant one night in advance. Let it cool completely and store it in a covered container till the next day. Bring it to room temperature before adding the filling.
Storage: This vegetarian stuffed eggplant will keep in the fridge for 2 to 3 days, but it's best enjoyed fresh.