Last week, my family and cousins from out of state got together for a big summer cookout. Although we had only one committed vegetarian in our midst, the family chefs ended up selecting a vegetarian dish for our entrée. We copied the recipe from Food Network's website, and the dish was a hit with the whole crowd. Total preparation and cooking time was under a half hour, and since we doubled the recipe (and our grill died out), we sauteed some of the veggies. We also used 3 boxes of Near East couscous (2 boxes of Near East Parmesan couscous and 1 box of Near East Garlic & Olive Oil couscous).
I suggest a large fruit salad to accompany the couscous. I used half a watermelon (diced), one honeydew melon (diced), 2 mangoes (diced), 2 boxes of strawberries (sliced), 2 boxes of blueberries, and 2 boxes of raspberries.
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 green zucchini, quartered lengthwise
- 2 yellow zucchini, quartered lengthwise
- 6 spears asparagus, trimmed
- 12 cherry tomatoes
- 1 red bell pepper, quartered and seeded
- 1 yellow bell pepper, quartered and seeded
- 1/4 cup basil chiffonade (stack leaves, roll in a cigar shape and cut crosswise into thin strips)
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound Israeli couscous
- In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard and garlic, slowly add the olive oil and whisk until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cut the zucchini and peppers into 1/2-inch pieces, cut the tomatoes in half.
- Pour 1/2 the marinade over the vegetables and let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Preheat the grill.
- Remove the vegetables from the marinade and grill the vegetables until just cooked through.
- Follow the instructions on the Near East box for preparation of the couscous itself. Boil 1.25 cups of water (per box of couscous) with some olive oil (optional, but 1-2 tablespoons total recommended) and the contents of the spice packets. When boiling, remove from heat and add all couscous. Cover completely and leave sit (for about 5-10 minutes) until water is absorbed. Couscous is now ready.
- Place in a large serving bowl, add the grilled vegetables and herbs and toss with the remaining vinaigrette.