Make Ahead

Breaded Ratatouille Couscous

by:
May 19, 2019
Photo by Jr0717
Author Notes

It may be a little bit involved, but made in a big batch, it's worth it: Dinner, Not-Sad-Desk-Lunch, and Meal Prep/Leftover dish, it covers all of your basic cooking techniques (I promise - worth it) and family-feeding needs, and is endlessly customizable.

Read through the entire recipe before starting to make sure you're familiar with all of the working parts of the recipe! —Jr0717

  • Prep time 25 minutes
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • Serves about 3 as a main
Ingredients
  • The Breaded Veg:
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups seasoned bread crumbs (or plain, seasoned with a good sprinkle of salt and pepper)
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan/Locatelli cheese, divided
  • Neutral oil (vegetable or canola), for frying
  • The Rest of the Good Stuff:
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 1/4 cups water or broth (To cook the couscous - I used chicken broth for extra flavor)
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 3/4 cup mushrooms (I used, and prefer, baby portobello, but any variation will work)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • For the vinaigrette:
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. The Breaded Veg:
  2. I chose not to follow a traditional breading scheme just for time's sake, but feel free to go with your breading method of choice! Slice and cube the eggplant and zucchini into large cubes (about 1.5-2 inches), and let sit in lemon juice for as long as possible (at least 15 minutes) while you prep the couscous (either per package instructions, or using a ratio of 1.25 cups water/broth to 1 cup couscous). The lemon juice will break down some of the cell walls in the veggies, creating a creamy, custardy interior and a crisp exterior when fried.
  3. Slice and cube the eggplant and zucchini into large cubes (about 1.5-2 inches), and let sit in lemon juice for as long as possible (at least 15 minutes) while you prep the couscous (either per package instructions, or using a ratio of 1.25 cups water/broth to 1 cup couscous). The lemon juice will break down some of the cell walls in the veggies, creating a creamy, custardy interior and a crisp exterior when fried.
  4. Preheat the oil and beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup of the grated cheese to the breadcrumbs and combine. Working in batches, coat the eggplant and zucchini cubes in the egg and then dredge in breadcrumbs. Fry until golden brown, and allow to drain while prepping the rest of the salad. Save the skillet for preparation of the remaining vegetables, pouring off a majority of the oil (save it for another fry, if possible!)
  1. The Rest of the Good Stuff:
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While the eggplant and zucchini are soaking in lemon juice, prepare the couscous by bringing the liquid to a boil in a saucepan (feel free to season it with salt and pepper and/or herbs for extra flavor!) and then adding the couscous. Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand.
  3. Dice the onion and chop the mushrooms into bite-sized pieces, and slice the cherry tomatoes in half. Heat a few swirls of olive oil in the reserved skillet and gently sauté the mushrooms and onions with a generous sprinkle of kosher salt and pepper until the mushrooms have released their liquid and the veggies are soft and fragrant. Lower the heat, and add the tomatoes, tossing to combine.
  4. Whisk together the ingredients for the vinaigrette.
  5. Bring it all together now!
  6. Fluff the couscous with a fork, and add the onions, mushrooms and tomatoes. Pour the mixture into a pyrex/deep oven-safe vessel, and toss with the vinaigrette. Top with the breaded eggplant and zucchini, and finish with the remaining grated cheese and a drizzle of olive oil. Cover with foil and bake to heat the eggplant and zucchini through, about 20 minutes, and then broil briefly if desired to brown the cheese. Serve and celebrate the fruits of your labor, and enjoy for the remainder of the week!

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