Couscous with grilled summer vegetables and herbs

16 Aug

I made this the other night with Crackled pork and Arugula Watercress salad for a friend’s birthday dinner.  It is a GREAT recipe for the summer–savory but not too heavy, and loaded with fresh summer vegetables to take advantage of the fact that they are in season (my asparagus was from NJ, my red bell peppers from upstate NY!)

Couscous with Grilled Summer Vegetables and Herbs

Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s The Naked Chef Takes Off

Ingredients

9oz couscous

1 1/4 cups water

3 red bell peppers

1 handful of asparagus, trimmed

2 or 3 small firm zucchini and/or patty pan squash, sliced vertically

1 small bunch of scallions, trimmed and finely sliced

2-4 fresh red chillies, seeded and finely sliced

3 good handfuls of mixed fresh herbs (basil, cilantro, mint, flat-leaf parsley)

2 olive oil and lemon juice dressing recipes (see below)

salt and freshly ground black pepper

red wine vinegar

For Olive Oil and lemon Juice Dressing:

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

5 tablespoons olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Bring the water to a boil saucepan, stir in couscous.  Cover and remove from heat. While the couscous is softening, blacken the bell peppers.  I did this by placing them directly on the flame of my gas stove, but if you don’t have a gas stove, you can use your broiler. The peppers should be blackened on all sides, so turn when needed. When fully blackened, let cool, then remove the seeds (and skins if you wish) and roughly chop.

On a very hot ridged skillet, lightly char the asparagus and squash on both sides, then toss them into the bowl of couscous with the peppers, scallions, chillies, and ripped up herbs. Mix-well. Add the dressing and toss. Finally, season with salt and black pepper to taste, and dribble a bit of red wine vinegar for a slight twang.

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