Recipe: Caponata with Israeli Couscous

I had some delicious looking eggplants to use recently and decided to turn them into a hearty salad of sorts. This caponata with Israeli couscous was the result and it sure is delicious! It’s packed with both vegetables and flavour, plus it’s vegan friendly too!

Caponata with Israeli Couscous | I Spy Plum Pie

I slightly tweaked a recipe from Hetty McKinnon’s Neighbourhood cookbook

Ingredients List

  • 800g eggplant
  • 2 red capsicums
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 2 onions
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • 1tbs harissa paste
  • 400g diced tomatoes
  • 2tbs red wine vinegar
  • 2tbs capers
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives
  • 2tsp caster sugar
  • Lemon
  • 500g pearl couscous
  • Flat leaf parsley
  • Slivered almonds


  1. Peel strips of skin from the eggplant so it leaves a stripy pattern then dice into 2cm pieces and set aside
  2. Dice the capsicum and thinly slice the celery and set aside
  3. Finely slice the onion and set aside
  4. Heat 2tbs each of the olive oil and sunflower oil in a large pan and then cook the eggplant until golden, turning often and cooking in batches if need be. Place in a colander and sprinkle with salt.
  5. Cook the capsicum and celery in the pan until softened, then place in the colander with the eggplant
  6. Heat some more oil in the pan and cook the onions for 2 minutes, then add the harissa and stir through. Cook for a further 5 minutes until softened
  7. Add the eggplant, capsicum and celery back to the pan along with the tomatoes, red wine vinegar, capers and olives. Stir to combine, then add the sugar and season with salt and pepper
  8. Cover and cook on low for 20 minutes, then squeeze over fresh lemon and season as needed
  9. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil then add the Israeli couscous and cook for 8-10 minutes until tender and then drain
  10. Fold the cooked Israeli couscous through the caponata then top with fresh parsley and slivered almonds

Caponata with Israeli Couscous | I Spy Plum Pie

I know that looks like a lot of steps for this caponata with Israeli couscous but it almost all of it happens in one pan! Plus, it’s seriously delicious so it’s worth the extra effort, I promise. I loved this both hot and cold as leftovers, so it works for both serving at home and taking to a picnic or BBQ. So versatile!

Caponata with Israeli Couscous | I Spy Plum Pie

My love for Israeli couscous as a salad base has been well documented round these parts over the years, and this caponata with Israeli couscous might well be my current favourite way to use it. It’s such a great way to make the most of amazing summer produce! Plus the little kick of heat from the harissa is hard to beat too!

Caponata with Israeli Couscous | I Spy Plum PieWho wants to give this caponata with Israeli couscous a try?

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