Enjoy all the flavors of the season with this easy-to-prep, low-cook meal that’s perfect for those nights when you want something light yet nourishing. This Grilled Vegetable Couscous Salad is just the ticket.
Some nights you just don’t want to cook. The day is long, and your temper, quite frankly, is short. You could go get take out. Or open a box of cold cereal….
whip up a batch of this low-prep Grilled Vegetable Couscous. It looks like something fancy, but seriously will take minutes to prep. Even less if you buy the veggies all ready to go in the produce section.
Grilled Vegetable Couscous Salad for a Light Night of Cooking
This Grilled Vegetable Couscous is actually inspired by a ready-to-eat salad I enjoyed in London, and Oxford, and probably some little village in the Cotswolds. I, too, was surprised to find a tasty, gourmet-level salad at a grocery store.
I was even more pleasantly surprised to find out how EASY it was to make at home.
Israeli couscous, also known as pearl couscous, cooks up in just minutes. Grilled vegetables take 15 minutes tops. While those two items to their thing — without heating up the kitchen — you mix up the spice-laden dressing — without breaking a sweat.
The result is a simple, delicious Vegetable Couscous that makes for a light night of cooking and a perfect side dish with a Spicy Grilled Tri Tip.
What Exactly Is Couscous?
Couscous is staple pasta dish many meals in Northern Africa.
It is made from semolina, the hard part of the grain of hard wheat. It is made by combining the semolina and water.
And it’s an extremely versatile dish that cooks up quickly. That’s a big win during the week if you ask me.
How to make this good and cheap:
Here are some of the strategies you can use to make this recipe more economical:
- Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. Instead of paying full price, buy more than you need when you see it on sale. It’s one way to lower your grocery bill. Then you always have it when you want it. For this recipe, that means keeping Israeli couscous, some spices, and a good handful of grilling veggies on hand.
- Shop the stores that have the best prices. When I did my big grocery store showdown, I learned that ALDI and Costco have the best prices for a lot of the things I buy. Sprouts usually kills them both on produce. I regularly stock up on peppers, onions, and summer squash when I see them at low prices.
How I make this recipe easy:
This recipe really couldn’t be easier than it is, but having the right kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs.
Here are the tools that I use for this recipe:
- plastic cutting boards – I have blue boards for veggies and white boards for meat.
- Ergo Chef chef’s knife – I’ve had my set for several years and they work well.
- a great pot with a lid — Currently I’m in love with this one.
- a reliable grill – We bought this one last summer and absolutely dig it.
Grilled Vegetable Couscous Salad
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
- 1 tbsp fresh cilantro (chopped)
- 1 tbsp parsley (chopped)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 inch fresh ginger root peeled and thinly sliced
- pinch granulated sugar optional
- black pepper
- 6 tbsp olive oil plus additional for brushing
- 1 zucchini cut into thick planks
- 1 red bell pepper cored and quartered
- 1 yellow bell pepper cored and quartered
- 1 red onion sliced thickly into rings
- 1 cup tri-color pearl couscous
- In a blender or food processor, blend the lemon juice, vinegar, basil, cilantro, parsley, garlic, red pepper flakes, turmeric, oregano, and ginger until smooth. Season to taste with sugar, salt, and pepper. Add the olive oil in a thin stream, blending well. Adjust the seasonings and set aside.
- Heat an outdoor grill or grill pan.
- Brush the zucchini, peppers, and onion rings with the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Grill the vegetables until charred and tender. Remove to a cutting board and chop coarsely.
- In a medium saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil. Add the pearl couscous and cover. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Let stand, covered for 3 minutes. Fluff with a fork and remove to a large salad bowl. Add the dressing and the chopped vegetables, tossing to coat.
- Adjust the seasonings and serve immediately or chill for up to 4 days.