I seriously never stick to my kitchen word. I had, well, still have, grand desires to cook Japanese food since I returned from my trip, which I earnestly documented. Have I bravely entered the world of miso soup? No. Nothing. (Although more on miso later.)
A beautiful tagine has been sitting on a high-up shelf in my current kitchen for 3 years now. And I actually think it sat unused in a previous kitchen. In fact, I am so out of touch with this clay vehicle that I referred to it as a taNgine at a press lunch at J&G Steakhouse the other day. Although a fellow writer was nice enough to correct my pronunciation before I started blabbing about it in public.
Tahini, however, has proved a powerful tool in the kitchen and as I try to use what I have in my over-stocked life, I have returned to this paste of sesame seeds. Round two.
Couscous Salad with Tahini- Miso Dressing
I felt so good about my usage of tahini again that I decided to throw in another forgotten ingredient: miso paste.
While the water boiled for the couscous, I made the dressing. In a mini food processor, I added: tahini, yogurt, scant spoonful of miso paste, cilantro, warm water, chopped scallions, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
When the couscous was cooking, I sauteed slices of eggplant until sufficiently softened and browned, and then sliced the eggplant into half-moons. In that same pan (the eggplant had sucked up all of the oil), I toasted pine nuts, then drained the couscous and added that to the pan, tossed in arugula to slightly wilt with a tiny bit of oil.
I tasted the sauce one more time, added more salt, and then added just a tiny bit to the pan. I mixed everything together and then put it on a platter and poured more dressing on top and then crumbed a bit of feta. I happened to buy these gorgeous purple bottomed scallions, so I added that on top. But feel free to omit or top with another type of onion or more cilantro.