Ground Lamb, Eggplant, And Couscous Bowls Recipe

ground lamb bowl on table
ground lamb bowl on table - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

For a long time, salads ruled the lunch hour as a steadfast, healthy option to balance the indulgence of weekend eating. Grain bowls have since taken the culinary world by storm, and for good reason: All of the components of a balanced meal can be found in one bowl, including protein, sauce, veggies, and, of course, grains. Sure, a salad might be a trustworthy option for a healthy go-to meal, but with the addition of grains like rice, couscous, farro, or quinoa, the tired bowl of veggies becomes so much more. Not only are grain bowls filling, but they satisfy the need for a warm, cooked meal while being easy to throw together.

Usually made with chicken, tofu, salmon, or shrimp, this grain bowl recipe written with recipe developer Michelle McGlinn veers from the norm and offers a way to use ground lamb for a protein-packed, Greek-inspired bowl. Layered with lemony couscous, roasted tomato and eggplant, and an herb-packed mayonnaise, this filling lamb-based bowl will bring you all of the flavors of the Mediterranean -- just in time for lunch.

Read more: The Best Meat For Your Charcuterie Board Isn't One You'd Expect

Gathering The Ingredients For Ground Lamb, Eggplant, And Couscous Bowls

lamb couscous bowl ingredients on a table
lamb couscous bowl ingredients on a table - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

You'll need a few pantry staples for this recipe, starting with olive oil, salt, pepper, and water. From there, raid your spice cabinet for cumin and dried parsley, and then gather fresh parsley, mint, and chives or use the dried herb alternatives. For fresh veg, gather lemon, garlic, tomato and eggplant. For four servings, look for a medium-sized eggplant that's about 10 inches long and about half as wide. Lastly, grab ground lamb, mayonnaise, and Israeli couscous to complete the bowl. If you can't find Israeli couscous, also known as pearl couscous, you can use Moroccan couscous (the small, granular kind), or swap it out for orzo.

Step 1: Heat Up The Oven

preheating the oven
preheating the oven - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Preheat the oven to 450 F.

Step 2: Season The Vegetables

seasoning vegetables in a bowl
seasoning vegetables in a bowl - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

In a bowl, toss the eggplant and tomatoes with 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.

Step 3: Put Vegetables On A Sheet Tray

vegetables on a sheet tray
vegetables on a sheet tray - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Add the vegetables to a parchment-lined sheet tray.

Step 4: Roast The Vegetables

roasted vegetables on sheet tray
roasted vegetables on sheet tray - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Roast for 25–30 minutes, tossing halfway through, until browned and crispy. Set aside.

Step 5: Bring Water To A Boil

water boiling in pot
water boiling in pot - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

In the meantime, make the couscous: Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan.

Step 6: Cook The Couscous

couscous in pot
couscous in pot - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Add the couscous, cover, and simmer until the couscous is fluffy, 8–10 minutes.

Step 7: Toss The Couscous With Lemon And Seasoning

couscous in bowl with seasonings
couscous in bowl with seasonings - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Drain the couscous as needed, then add 1 tablespoon lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Step 8: Heat The Oil In A Skillet

oil heating in skillet
oil heating in skillet - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a skillet over medium heat.

Step 9: Brown The Lamb

browned lamb in skillet
browned lamb in skillet - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Crumble and cook the lamb in the skillet until browned.

Step 10: Season The Lamb

seasonings in skillet with lamb
seasonings in skillet with lamb - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Add ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, the cumin, dried parsley, mint, and 4 cloves of minced garlic.

Step 11: Combine

seasonings combined with lamb
seasonings combined with lamb - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Stir until combined.

Step 12: Combine The Herb Mayo Ingredients

herb mayo ingredients in bowl
herb mayo ingredients in bowl - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

To make the herb mayo, add the grated garlic clove to the mayonnaise. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice, the parsley, and the chives.

Step 13: Season And Stir

herb mayo combined in bowl
herb mayo combined in bowl - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Stir the herb mayo together and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Step 14: Assemble The Bowl

lamb, vegetables, and couscous in bowl
lamb, vegetables, and couscous in bowl - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

To build the bowl, first add the couscous mixture, then add the lamb. Add the eggplant and tomato, then top with a dollop of herb mayo.

Step 15: Serve

lamb grain bowl on table
lamb grain bowl on table - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Serve.

Ground Lamb, Eggplant, And Couscous Bowls Recipe

ground lamb and couscous on fork
ground lamb and couscous on fork - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

What Can I Use Extra Herb Mayo For?

herb mayo in a bowl
herb mayo in a bowl - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

This herby mayo is perfect for lamb and vegetable bowls in particular because it mellows the gamey taste of lamb while complementing the rich flavor of the roasted vegetables. Plus, who doesn't like a grain bowl with a little dressing? Herb mayonnaise works on other dishes, too, so save any extra mayonnaise that you have leftover. You can spread the mayonnaise on hamburgers, use it on paninis, or fold it into tuna salad. Herb mayonnaise also makes a great addition to classic BLT sandwiches.

Herb mayo can also make an excellent dipping sauce. You can dip fries into it, or use it as a dipping sauce for roasted baby potatoes. You can also use it on fresh, crunchy vegetables or to accompany grilled kabobs. And, if you're looking for a good dipping sauce for a late-night snack, this herby mayonnaise is a great partner to crispy air-fried chicken nuggets.

What Are Some Other Ingredients I Can Add To My Grain Bowl?

lamb grain bowl on table
lamb grain bowl on table - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Though lamb can be tough to find pairings for because of its gamey, earthy taste, this bowl is versatile and can be made many different ways. We recommend using seasonal vegetables in your bowl, such as summer squash and zucchini, Brussels sprouts and broccoli, or cauliflower and Swiss chard. Like the eggplant and tomatoes, you can toss the vegetables in oil and roast them, or simply saute them until soft.

You can also add vegetarian proteins to your bowl, such as tofu, beans, or lentils. You can use simple kidney or great northern beans, or go the extra mile and add crispy roasted chickpeas. For tofu, drain and press the block, season it with a mixture of parsley, cumin, paprika, and garlic, and then toss it with lemon and oil. Roast along with the vegetables for crispy squares of seasoned tofu. Our final recommendation for switching up your bowl? The addition you can never go wrong with: A good, ripe avocado.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.