Caitlin Bensel
Hands-on Time
25 Mins
Total Time
5 Hours 35 Mins
Yield
Serves 4 (serving size: 3/4 cup couscous, 1 1/4 cups ragout)

Hearty and filling, this is vegetarian comfort food. Tossing the eggplant with salt draws out excess moisture from the vegetable, making it less bitter and more firm upon cooking. To make this recipe gluten free, sub rice or gluten-free pasta for the couscous. Garnish with additional chopped flat-leaf parsley or basil, if desired.

How to Make It

Step 1

Toss together the eggplant and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and let drain in a colander 10 minutes. Rinse; pat dry.

Step 2

Drain the tomatoes, reserving the oil. Chop the tomatoes to equal 1/2 cup; reserve the remaining tomatoes for another use. Place 2 tablespoons of the oil from the tomatoes in a large nonstick skillet, and heat over medium-high. Add the eggplant, and cook, stirring often, until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, onion, and bell pepper, and cook, stirring often, 2 minutes.

Step 3

Place the eggplant mixture in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Add the 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes, beans, stock, tomato paste, thyme, black pepper, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, and stir to combine. Cover and cook on LOW until the eggplant is very tender, about 5 hours. Turn off the slow cooker, and stir in the parsley and vinegar. Divide the couscous among 4 plates. Serve the ragout over the couscous. Sprinkle with the crushed red pepper, if desired.

Step 4

Multicooker Directions: Complete Steps 1 and 2. in step 3, place the eggplant mixture in the inner pot of a 6-quart multicooker. Stir in the 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes, beans, stock, tomato paste, thyme, black pepper, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Lock the lid; turn Pressure Valve to “Venting.” Cook on SLOW COOK [Normal] until the eggplant is very tender, about 5 hours. Turn off the cooker. Stir in the parsley and vinegar. Finish Step 3.

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