How to Make It
Toss together the eggplant and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and let drain in a colander 10 minutes. Rinse; pat dry.
Drain the tomatoes, reserving the oil. Chop the tomatoes to equal 1/2 cup; reserve the remaining tomatoes for another use. Place 2 tablespoons of the oil from the tomatoes in a large nonstick skillet, and heat over medium-high. Add the eggplant, and cook, stirring often, until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, onion, and bell pepper, and cook, stirring often, 2 minutes.
Place the eggplant mixture in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Add the 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes, beans, stock, tomato paste, thyme, black pepper, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, and stir to combine. Cover and cook on LOW until the eggplant is very tender, about 5 hours. Turn off the slow cooker, and stir in the parsley and vinegar. Divide the couscous among 4 plates. Serve the ragout over the couscous. Sprinkle with the crushed red pepper, if desired.
Multicooker Directions: Complete Steps 1 and 2. in step 3, place the eggplant mixture in the inner pot of a 6-quart multicooker. Stir in the 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes, beans, stock, tomato paste, thyme, black pepper, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Lock the lid; turn Pressure Valve to “Venting.” Cook on SLOW COOK [Normal] until the eggplant is very tender, about 5 hours. Turn off the cooker. Stir in the parsley and vinegar. Finish Step 3.