This recipe Roasted Ratatouille Couscous is such a simple weeknight dinner, full of fresh summer vegetables including zucchini, eggplant, red peppers, and cherry tomatoes. Flavored with fresh herbs and roasted garlic, it’s a new take on a vegan grain salad the whole family can enjoy. Packs well for a picnic, too!
What is ratatouille?
Ratatouille is a French Provencal dish made of stewed vegetables that originated in Nice, France. While specific ingredients can vary, is typically made with zucchini (also known as courgette), eggplant (also known as aubergine), tomato, garlic, onion, and bell pepper. The name is related to the French ratouiller and tatouiller, (forms of the verb touiller), meaning “to stir up.”
Even if you’ve never heard of or tried this dish, it’s likely you know the name as it was the title of a very popular animated movie 2017!
In today’s recipe, we are roasting the above mentioned ingredients to caramelize their flavor and bring our some natural sweetness. To make this dish more filling, we’re serving it with some fluffy pearl couscous. If you do not have couscous or are not able to find it at the store, this dish is equally delicious when served with cooked pasta noodles.
What is Israeli couscous?
Israeli couscous, also known as pearl couscous, is made of small, toasted pasta balls. It was invented in 1950s Israel, a time of austerity with actual couscous was hard to find. Prime Minister Ben Gurion asked Eugen Proper, one of the founders of the Osem food company, to devise a wheat-based substitute for rice.
Ingredients Needed for Ratatouille Couscous
For roasted ratatouille:
- 1/2 large globe eggplant (aubergine)
- 2 small to medium zucchini (courgette)
- 2 red bell peppers
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes (or other ripe tomatoes)
- 1/2 of a large red onion
- 4 large cloves garlic, in their skin
- 3 tsp dried oregano, basil or thyme
- Salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 1.5 cups dry pearl/Israeli couscous
- 2.25 cups water
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, to garnish
How to Make Roasted Ratatouille for this Recipe
- Slice eggplant into 1/2 inch cubes and place in a colander in the sink. Salt heavily and let sit for 5 minutes (this will draw out some bitterness). Rinse off the salt and set aside. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Wash all produce and continue your chopping with the zucchini, peppers, cherry tomatoes, and red onion, all into similarly-sized small pieces. Spread everything (including your reserved eggplant) out across two lined baking sheets, making as even of a layer as possible. Add four (in-peel) garlic cloves to sheet. Heavily sprinkle dried herbs, salt, and pepper across the two sheets. Spread olive oil across both and mix to coat.
- Roast vegetables for 20 minutes, until evenly golden brown. Squeeze garlic out of peels onto roasted vegetables and stir to coat.
How to Make Israeli/Pearl Couscous (Video below)
- In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium and add dry couscous. Stir and toast until golden brown, 5-7 minutes. Meanwhile, add 2.25 cups of water to a small pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add 1/2 tsp kosher salt and toasted couscous. Turn heat to medium, cover, and let cook for 12-15 minutes until most or all of the water has boiled off. Drain if needed and set aside.
Tips for Making the Best Pearl Couscous
- Toast it in a skillet for 5-7 minutes before boiling. This will help bring out its natural nutty flavor.
- Treat it like regular pasta when boiling (since that’s what it is). If you do not feel like measuring the amount of water, simply boil the couscous in a large pot and drain after the time specified on the package instructions!
- Do not overcook. Like other pasta shapes, it will become mushy and want to stick together if cooked too long.
I hope you enjoy this recipe for roasted ratatouille couscous! Please be sure to leave a comment and a rating if you give it a try.
For more summer pasta recipes, try:
- Creamy Sweet Corn Pasta with Basil and Cherry Tomatoes
- Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Salad
- Pink Sauce Pasta with Rosé Wine