Monday, June 7, 2010

Grilled Vegetable & Israeli Cous Cous Confetti

I love summer! Not only does the season produce my favorite fruits and vegetables, but it means longer days and warm evenings - conditions that practically begs for grilling. As you might know, I'm not much of a fan of big slabs of meat, but I can grill produce all day long. From portabellos to zucchini to peaches, the grill seasons everyday vegetables with summer goodness.

How this recipe came about was a through a random act of desparation. I needed a side to pair with some pork shoulder that was about to be thrown on the grill. It had been marinating in red wine, garlic and rosemary. I didn't want rice or pasta, but I wanted something quick and I was too lazy to go to the grocery store. After digging through my pantry, I found a little purple box of Israeli cous cous. SCORE! From there, I had some vegetables on hand - zucchini, red onion, and roma tomatoes - MORE SCORE! Tossing everything together with a bit of fresh sweet basil - oh heaven. To complete the meal, I made some cold tzatziki (a future blog post) to accompany the grilled pork and the whole mish mash of goodness blended perfectly together. It was like a middle eastern thanksgiving on a warm summer sunday night.

1 1/3 Cup Israeli Cous Cous
1 1/3 Cup Chicken broth, bring to a boil
1 Tbs Olive Oil
3 small zucchini, sliced lengthwise about 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick
1 red onion, cut into 8 wedges, leaving the root end holding each wedge together*
2 roma tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/4 Cup Sweet Basil - chiffonade

Start by cooking the cous cous. Heat olive oil in a pot, and toast the cous cous until lightly golden brown - about 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth (careful! - it will be SUPER bubbly and steamy), turn the heat down to medium - low, cover and cook until all the liquid has absorbed, about 10 - 12 minutes.

In the meantime heat the grill on high and prep the vegetables. Place the tomatoes cut side up, zucchini and red onion on a sheet pan. Drizzle olive oil over the vegetables and sprinkle salt and pepper. Once the grill put the vegetables on the grill. The zucchini will take about 2-3 minutes on each side. I like the onions a bit more caramelized, so i left them on for longer. The tomatoes should be put on the grill cut side down and grilled briefly for until there are grill marks

Once the vegetables are grilled and are cool enough to handle, roughly chop them up and add to the cooked cous cous with the basil. Salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with a bit more olive oil if desired.

*I like my red onions mostly cooked and a bit caramlized, so I cut the onion into eighths. You can cut into quarters if you like a bit of bite from the raw onion.

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