Hopefully you've already seen Ratatouille, a fantastic movie that my kids love. Ratatouille is a traditional country dish made of healthy vegetables that originated in Nice, France. Here's an Eastern spin on this French classic.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
1 small red onion, 1/4-inch dice
1 Japanese eggplant, 1/2- inch dice, skin on
1 red bell pepper, 1/2-inch dice
1 large heirloom tomato, 1/2-inch dice
2 cups (12 ounces) whole wheat instant couscous
2 tablespoon Wanjashan wheat-free organic tamari
3 cups water, boiling
12-15 Thai basil leaves, ripped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a non-stick saute pan over medium-high heat coated lightly with extra virgin olive oil add onion and eggplant and season and cook until soft, about 3 minutes.
Add bell peppers and saute until slightly softened, then add tomato, stir and season.
Meanwhile, make couscous: in a large, heat-proof bowl, combine couscous, tamari and 2 tablespoons olive oil and season. Pour boiling water over and stir quickly to blend and immediately cover bowl with plastic wrap, sealing tightly.
Allow to steam until couscous is tender, about 5-7 minutes. Fluff couscous with the back of a fork and stir in Thai basil ribbons.
Check flavor and season if necessary. To serve, using a ring mold or similar, plate couscous in mold on plate and layer ratatouille on top.
Unmold and drizzle with more extra virgin olive oil and garnish with Thai basil sprig, if desired.
Ming Tsai is the host and executive producer of public television series Simply Ming and chef/owner of Blue Ginger restaurant in Wellesley, Mass.
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