Pearl Couscous with Chickpeas, Eggplant and Peaches
Raise your hand if peach season is your Christmas in July. (Same.) We’d eat the summer fruit every day in every dish if we could, and we have a feeling Jessica and Stephen Rose—owners of the beloved Nashville-based Peach Truck—agree. This pearl couscous with chickpeas, eggplant and peaches from their new release, The Peach Truck Cookbook, hits all the right notes.
“Pearl couscous with kalamata olives, chickpeas and generous slices of red onion and peach becomes a bowl of irresistible goodness,” they write. “The tahini adds depth of flavor and a lovely creaminess. This dish is great cold, warm or at room temperature, and you can make it up to one day ahead.”
Jessica, Stephen, you had us at “peaches.”
1 pound (about 3 medium) peaches, pitted and cut into ½-inch wedges
1 small red onion, cut into ½-inch wedges
One 1-pound eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
One 15½-ounce can chickpeas—rinsed, drained and patted dry
4 sprigs fresh thyme
8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3 cups vegetable broth
2½ cups pearl couscous
½ cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
½ cup chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a large bowl, toss together the peaches, onion, eggplant, chickpeas, thyme sprigs, 5 tablespoons of the olive oil, paprika, cayenne, 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1 teaspoon of the black pepper. Divide the mixture between two rimmed baking sheets and spread into a single layer. Bake until the vegetables are tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove the thyme sprigs.
2. Meanwhile, bring the broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the couscous, cover, and reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until the liquid has been absorbed and the couscous is al dente, 8 to 10 minutes.
3. In a large serving bowl, toss together the couscous, roasted vegetables and peaches, olives, parsley, mint, lemon zest, lemon juice, tahini, remaining 3 tablespoons oil, remaining 1 teaspoon salt and remaining ½ teaspoon pepper. Serve warm, chilled or at room temperature.