Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Grilled Vegetable and Israeli Cous Cous Salad

With a glint of sunshine this weekend, I was inspired to jump on the grill. And jump on it I did because there was literally one day of sunshine. Just one.

One glorious day of beautiful, sunny shine. And warmth. Saturday was the first day that warmth and sunshine decided to grace the Northwest and come out and play.

And jump on it I did because in the world of 'summer' cooking, there are two things that I lurve and look forward to: grilling and salads. Salads of summer, here I come!

Let's kick off this year's salads of summer with a grilled up favorite by Mr. Grill It Up himself, Bobby Flay. I did monkey this recipe, as per usual, and it's great because monkeying is encouraged; it's a flexible salad.

The marinade/dressing is tangy with a sweet bite, the veg is grilled to perfection, offering a roasty, nutty flavor finished with the aromatic of basil and chewy bite of my favorite: israeli cous cous.

Make it ahead of time for a summer party, or for a week's worth of lunches. It is, after all, lunch leftover approved by none other than Honey himself.

Editor's note: I do feel an eensy bit bad, posting two dishes with israeli cous cous in a row. But not bad enough to not post anyway. It's just that good.

2 1/4 cups vegetable broth or water and a bouillon cube
1 1/4 cup israeli cous cous
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 cup olive oil
Sea salt
Fresh cracked pepper
3 zucchini, quartered lengthwise
12 asparagus spears, with the butts chopped off
1 red bell pepper, de-seeded and quartered
1 yellow bell pepper, de-seeded and quartered
About 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, julienned

In a pot, bring vegetable broth to a boil and add cous cous. Cook, gradually reducing heat as liquid is absorbed. Cover, turn off stove and set aside.

In a jar or dressing container, combine balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Cover and shake to combine.

Place all veg in a large bowl and pour 3/4 of the dressing over top. Let veg marinate for 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat and clean your grill.

When grill is ready, transfer veg to the grill and cook for approximately 1-2 minutes on each side. Reserve the marinade for tossing later.

The goal in grilling is to get those beautiful grill marks on all sides of your veg. Note: do not over cook your veg. You want them to be slightly al dente.

Cut vegetables into bite sized pieces and place in a large bowl along with the cooked israeli cous cous. Drizzle some of the remaining marinade dressing over top and gently toss to combine.

Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed then add basil and toss to combine.

This is great all by itself; it also makes a lovely side dish to your protein of choice.

Another fun option would be to start with a bed of butter lettuce and top it with this beautiful, colorful salad.




  1. Hey Ellie

    Did your salad have grilled/roasted kale in it? How much quinoa? love aunt deb

    1. HI Auntie! No, the kale is raw. I find if you toss it into the salad when the other veggies are still warm, it wilts it a bit, which makes it easier to eat/digest :) love you!! xoxo



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