Green Couscous Salad with Roasted Vegetables
Couscous steams in 10 minutes, is a lovely absorbent base for bright dressings and can be tossed with most anything. It’s a good thing to have on hand when you’re short on time.
Variations: You can use most any roasted vegetable here. Summer squash would be good as long as it’s cut fairly small and roasted well so it’s not too watery. Carrots or any root vegetables would work as would broccoli or cauliflower. Even cherry tomatoes, deeply roasted, would be delicious.
3/4 cup couscous
1 cup boiling water
3/4 lb Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed of any browning leaves and halved or quartered depending on size
2 cups winter squash, cut into small bite-sized pieces (Butternut, half-moons of delicata squash or whatever you have)
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 -2 green onions (depending on how much you like onion and how large your onions are), white and green parts very thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
1 small jalapeño (remove seeds if you’re spice wary), chopped
1 cup cilantro, leaves and stems, roughly chopped
1 cup parsley, leaves, larger stems removed, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon honey
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine or cider vinegar or lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Squeeze of lemon juice, to finish (optional)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
1. Put couscous in a medium bowl. Pour boiling water over and wrap tightly with cling wrap. Let steam for 10 minutes or longer. It’s fine if it sits longer.
2. Spread vegetables on a sheet pan. I use the same sheet pan for multiple kinds of vegetables. You can keep them in their own section in case one is done sooner than the other but I find it usually works out just fine. And if you have more vegetables than comfortably fit on one use two pans to avoid crowding/steaming. Roast for about 20 minutes, stirring once or twice to ensure even browning. Remove from the oven when tender.
3. While vegetables are roasting, put garlic, jalapeño, herbs in a food processor and process until well chopped but not smooth. Add honey, spices, salt and pulse briefly. Add oil, honey, vinegar or lemon and pulse again briefly just to mix. Taste and adjust seasoning with more vinegar and or lemon juice, and/or salt.
4. Fluff couscous and put in serving dish. Toss with 2/3 of the dressing, then stir in green onions and roasted vegetables. Top with the remainder of the dressing and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice if it needs a lift. Serve immediately. Store leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge.