One of my favorite grab and go lunches in Columbia is Rosewood Market, where they make the worlds best grain bowls. The key is that their vegetables and proteins are really well prepared - perfect salmon with crispy skin, caramelized brussels sprouts, sesame tofu, gingery mushrooms. My personal favorite is their babaganoush bowl, with a big scoop of creamy babaganoush over brown rice with rotisserie chicken and lemon-tahini dressing. That plus a cold pamplemousse lacroix makes the best weekday lunch. This recipe is kinda my at home version of it!
The best babaganoush I ever had was in Turkey, where they made it by roasting eggplant over a charcoal grill. It was so smoky and creamy and perfect. Probably eating outside, on a boat in the middle of the Mediterranean added a little flavor too. Ever since then, I make mine by charring the eggplant on a gas grill, which isn't exactly the same but still delicious. It turns the eggplant silky, smoky and smooth, perfect for whipping up with yogurt, tahini and tons of garlic and herbs.
Feel free to use different proteins or vegetables for this dish. Sauteed zucchini or roasted carrots would be tasty. You could also use rotisserie chicken, or garlicky grilled pork. I know there's a lot of steps to this dish, but it actually comes together a little faster than it might seem!
Vegetarian Babaganoush Bowl
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Quick Pickled Red Onions:
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 garlic clove, smashed and peeled
- 5 black peppercorns
- 1 cup couscous
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped scallion
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 head broccoli, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tomato, cut into wedges
- Kalamata olives
- Lemon wedges
- Sumac, for garnish
- First, make the babaganoush. Heat a grill on medium-high heat. Poke the eggplant all over with the tines of a fork. Place on the hot grill, cover, and cook, turning occasionally until tender and charred on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Remove and set aside to cool.
- While the eggplant is cooking, make the pickled red onions. Bring a pot of water to a boil. While it's coming to a boil, whisk together vinegar, sugar, and salt in a bowl until dissolved, then add garlic and black peppers. Add the onions to the boiling water and cook for 10 seconds. Drain and add onions to the vinegar mixture. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Leftover onions will keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks.
- Next, roast the broccoli. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the broccoli with olive oil, season with salt and black pepper. Spread evenly on a large baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, flipping halfway. Remove when tender, golden and slightly crispy.
- Next, prepare the couscous. Bring 1 cup of water and olive oil to a boil in a medium pot. Stir in couscous, cover, and steam for 5 minutes. Remove lid, fluff with a fork, and stir in fresh herbs.
- When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, make the babaganoush. Cut the eggplant in half and scoop out the flesh. Roughly chop the flesh and stir in the garlic, herbs, lemon juice, tahini, yogurt and salt.
- To prepare the bowls, divide the couscous between four bowls. Top with chickpeas, sliced tomatoes, a scoop of babaganoush, roasted broccoli, olives, and red onion. Garnish with a spritz of lemon juice and sprinkle of sumac. Serve.