Thursday, September 8, 2011

Summer Mediterranean Couscous Salad

My neighbor stopped by last night and gave me a bunch of summer squash from his garden...a lot of squash!  I'm not certain what I'm going to do with it all, but I guess zucchini bread, fritters and pickled squash are in my near future.  Too bad that I don't like the taste of squash in my morning juice--I just find it to be too bitter.  In any case, I was very appreciative and will use up every bit of it.  Nothing like fresh produce from an organic garden right next door!


1 cup Mediterranean or Israeli couscous
2 ears of corn on the cob, shucked, kernels removed from the cob
1 medium zucchini, diced small
1 medium yellow squash, diced small
1 medium Italian green squash, diced small
1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced
1/3 cup chopped basil leaves, plus more for garnish
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
Juice of 2 lemons
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Bibb or romaine lettuce leaves
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

  • In a small sauce pan on medium heat, add 1 tsp extra virgin olive, couscous and toast until lightly golden brown, about three minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning.
  • Add 4 cups water and 1/2 tsp salt and cook for about 10-15 minutes until couscous is soft.
  • Drain couscous and rinse under cool water and drain again really well.  Place in a medium bowl and chill in the fridge until ready to assemble.
  • Shuck corn and cut kernels from the cob and place in a bowl.  You should have about 2 cups corn.
  • Dice squash around the same size as the corn kernels and set aside in another bowl.  You should have 3-4 cups diced squash.
  • Heat a large saute pan on medium-high heat and add a little bit of olive oil.  Working in batches (you don't want to crowd the pan to avoid steaming) cook squash and corn separately for about 3 minutes or so until lightly charred, adding more olive oil when needed.  You don't want to overcook the vegetables, they should be crisp-tender.
  • Once cooked, place vegetables on a sheet tray to cool.
  • Slice tomatoes in half or quarter depending on size and add to couscous.
  • Next add in zucchini, corn, chopped basil, toasted pine nuts and stir to combine.
  • Season with lemon juice, salt and black pepper to taste and chill in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.  Check seasoning again before serving.
  • Serve on a bed of lettuce, sliced heirloom tomatoes, or as a side dish to your favorite entree.


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