It’s the time of year when we crack open our grills, as well as dish out cold and refreshing pasta salads. Grilled Eggplant, Cherries, and Couscous Salad combines the elements of grilling, along with a seasonal side dish, with fresh cherries tossed in for some extra fun.
We all know it’s grilling season, and that makes most of us bolt outside to make many of our meals. For me, I go begrudgingly. That’s only because I live in Phoenix where the summers are hot, hot, HOT, no matter what time of day or night. The rest of the year – literally – is when we in Phoenix are happy to head outdoors to grill.
This is exactly the time of year when I proclaim my love for my stovetop grill pan. My husband will head outside to grill in the summer (fine by me!), but me? I’ll use my grill pan, thankyouverymuch.
Grilled Eggplant, Cherries, and Couscous Salad is easy to make, indoors or out, Meatless Monday or not, and it’s a fun twist on a traditional pasta salad. You get it, right? Summer = grilling, fresh fruit, pasta salad… this dish will have you covered!
I love the fresh cherries in this dish. Their sweetness pairs well with the smoky grilled eggplant, and the bright lemony dressing pulls it all together. If you’d like, try tossing in bits of your favorite cheese and diced purple onion for even more flavor.Toss grilled eggplant and fresh cherries into the mix for a new take on pasta salad! Click To Tweet
I think you’ll enjoy Grilled Eggplant, Cherries, and Couscous Salad as a flavorful alternative to more traditional pasta salads. If you love eggplant, try this recipe for Grilled Eggplant Burgers with Spicy Garlic Spread or Baked Eggplant Marinara. If you’re into cherries, make this Cherry-Almond Ricotta Ice Cream!
Recipe for Grilled Eggplant, Cherries, and Couscous Salad
- 1 small eggplant, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch rounds, skin on
- 2 cups cooked couscous
- 2 cups pitted cherries, halved
- 7 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley, plus extra for garnish
- 1/4 cup toasted almonds, rough chopped
- Brush both sides of the eggplant rounds with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt, and set aside.
- Brush a grill pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place over medium-high heat. When hot, reduce the heat to medium.
- Combine the remaining 5 tablespoons olive oil with the lemon juice, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Whisk to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Grill the eggplant for 5-7 minutes on each side. The eggplant will attain dark grill marks and soften when done. Remove and allow to cool slightly.
- Cut the eggplant into 2-inch pieces. In a large bowl, combine the couscous, eggplant pieces, and the cherries.
- Whisk the dressing, and pour over the couscous mixture. Add the parsley and toasted almonds, and toss to combine.
- Serve at room temperature or cold.