Friday, September 14, 2012

Israeli couscous salad with grilled veggies & feta

My very talented chef friend, Spencer, asked me to be a guest in one of his webisodes featuring summer salads.  The video is just now cut, edited and ready to go, and technically it's still summer (especially here in Southern Cal - holy moly, it's hot!), so here it is...

This couscous salad is my vegetarian contribution.  It's definitely hearty enough to be an entree salad, which is how I usually serve it, but it's also great paired with any grilled meat or seafood. I love the crunchy, toasted almonds and fresh mint & parsley you add at the end - it gives it so much flavor & texture.

Spencer's salad is a delicious Asian steak salad - soooooo good.  Please check out the recipe on his food blog OMNIVOROUS at

The video is a little longer than my Kin Community ones - about 6 minutes total - but I think it's pretty cool. Check it out if you have the time.

Serves 4

2 T. olive oil
1 1/2 c. Israeli couscous
1/2 t. kosher salt
1 3/4  c. vegetable broth

1 clove garlic - minced
1 shallot - minced
1/2 T. fresh rosemary - finely chopped
1 T. fresh thyme - chopped
1/2 t. kosher salt
fresh ground pepper - to taste
zest of 2 lemons
2 T. lemon juice
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
1/2 c. olive oil

1 zucchini - cut in half lengthwise
1 bell pepper - quartered
1/2 pound medium-thick asparagus - trimmed
1 small red onion - cut into 6 wedges leaving root end intact

1/2 c. toasted sliced almonds
1/3 c. mint leaves - roughly torn
1/3 c. Italian parsley leaves - roughly torn
1/3 cup marinated feta

Heat 2 T. olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add couscous and stir often until couscous browns slightly.  Add vegetable broth and salt and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until liquid is absorbed and couscous in tender - about 12 minutes.  Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Heat BBQ or grill pan to medium-high.

In a medium bowl, mix the garlic, shallot, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper, lemon zest and red wine vinegar together.  Slowly pour in olive oil while whisking.

Brush zucchini, bell pepper, asparagus & red onion generously with marinade/dressing.  Sprinkle with kosher salt & pepper.  Grill zucchini and bell pepper 3-4 minutes per side.  Grill asparagus and red onion 5-6 minutes per side.  Baste veggies with dressing after flipping.

Remove veggies from grill, let cool to room temperature and roughly chop.  Toss in a large bowl with cooked Israeli couscous & remaining dressing.

Just before serving gently fold in toasted almonds, mint and parsley and top with crumbled marinated feta.

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