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Aubergine and Tahini Giant Couscous Salad Recipe




  • 200g cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 shallot, very finely sliced
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • ½tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 pinches of salt, plus extra for salting
  • 100g giant couscous
  • 300ml boiling water
  • pinch of saffron threads or turmeric
  • 2 aubergines, cut into 1-cm thick slices
  • olive oil, for frying
  • 80g rocket or watercress
  • small bunch of mint, chopped
  • small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 30g flaked almonds, toasted
  • sumac, to garnish

For the tahini dressing

  • 2tbsp tahini
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2tbsp lemon juice
  • ½tsp sugar
  • approximately 4tbsp hot water
  • salt


Put a kettle on to boil.

Put the tomatoes into a mixing bowl with the shallot, cumin, cinnamon and a pinch of salt and mix together. Set aside to macerate while you get everything else ready.

Place the couscous in a saucepan with the saffron and a pinch of salt. Tip in the measured boiling water and stir. Simmer over a very gentle heat, stirring from time to time, for about 10 minutes or until cooked – check the packet, as cooking times may vary. The liquid should all be absorbed – add a dash more hot water if it looks as though the couscous is drying out. Spread out the cooked couscous on a plate and allow to cool.

While the couscous cooks, start cooking the aubergines. Lightly salt each side of each slice. Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan, add the aubergine slices and cook for 5–10 minutes, until golden on both sides and cooked through – you may need to do this in batches. You’re going to use more oil than you think as the aubergine soaks it up like a sponge as it cooks. Alternatively, cook the seasoned slices on an un-oiled griddle pan until nicely char marked. Mix with olive oil and finish in a medium oven for 10 minutes to cook through. Set aside.

To make the dressing, mix the tahini, garlic, lemon juice and sugar in a bowl. As you whisk, gradually add the measured hot water, adding more if needed, until the mixture reaches a yogurt-like consistency. Season well with salt.

Mix the couscous and salad leaves into the bowl with the tomatoes. Transfer the mixture to a large serving plate and tuck in the aubergine slices here and there. Artistically streak the dressing over the top and garnish with the herbs, almonds and a dusting of sumac. Serve straight away.

Recipe courtesy of Dirty Vegan by Matt Pritchard, published by Mitchel Beazley


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