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Couscous Salad with Summer Vegetables and Thyme-Mint Vinaigrette

411 A Couscous Salad Summer Vegetables Thyme-Mint Vinaigrette.jpg
411 A Couscous Salad Summer Vegetables Thyme-Mint Vinaigrette.jpg

Couscous Salad with Summer Vegetables and Thyme-Mint Vinaigrette

1.00

When the BBQ is in full swing, throw some fresh summer squash on the grill and toss with a quick couscous salad right before serving! Now how easy is that for easy!!!

Yield: 4 – 6 servings

Oven: N/A

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

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1 tablespoon olive oil

1 zucchini, ends trimmed, unpeeled quartered lengthwise

1 yellow zucchini or squash, ends trimmed, unpeeled quartered lengthwise

1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable stock

2 cups toasted Israeli couscous

1 cup red cherry tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise

1 cup yellow cherry tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise

Thyme-Mint Vinaigrette:

3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh thyme

2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh mint

1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 large garlic cloves, minced (approximately 1 tablespoon)

3/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil

kosher salt, as needed

freshly ground black pepper, as needed

1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil leaves, garnish

Method:

To prepare the veggies:

1.   On a large sheet tray, add green and yellow zucchini and using your hands, evenly coat with olive oil.

2.   On a preheated grill pan or BBQ over medium – high heat, add veggies in a single layer (“flesh” side) and cook until grill marks appear, approximately 2 1/2 minutes. Flip and cook the second side until grill marks also appear, another 2 1/2 minutes. Keep an eye on them because they can quickly burn if your grill is too hot.

3.   Remove from grill and allow to cool.

4.   Meanwhile, prepare the couscous.

To prepare the couscous:

5.   In a large heatproof bowl, add couscous and set to the side.

6.   In a small size saucepan over medium heat, add stock and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and pour over the couscous in the reserved bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to “cook” undisturbed off heat until all moisture has absorbed, approximately 15 – 20 minutes.

7.   Remove plastic covering, fluff with a fork and set to the side.

8.   Meanwhile, prepare the vinaigrette.

To prepare the thyme-mint vinaigrette:

9.   In a medium size bowl, combine vinegar, thyme, mint, Dijon mustard, and garlic. Using a whisk, slowly stream in the oil while whisking until emulsified. Alternatively, add all ingredients to a mason jar with a tight fitting lid shaking until emulsified. Set to the side.

To serve:

10.   Cut the grilled vegetables into bite size pieces and toss with the couscous. Add red and yellow tomatoes stirring until evenly combined.

11.   Toss with thyme-mint vinaigrette, adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper if desired. Garnish with freshly sliced basil and serve as is. For a chilled version, simply toss everything together, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until cold, approximately 1 – 2 hours. Keep in mind that the flavors will intensify the longer the salad sits in the fridge and additional olive oil may be needed to “loosen” the couscous.

 

Kitchen Note: Feel free to swap around veggies and herbs keeping in mind quantities and cooking times may vary.