Grilled Vegetables and Couscous Salad

You would think I wouldn’t have many recipes for zucchini, eggplant and summer squash with how much I complain about them.  Alas, at the farmers’ market in the summer there seems to be an endless supply, so I’ve worked hard to create variety of dishes to accomodate these summer vegetables.

Remember the leftover zucchini, eggplant and summer squash from the ratatouille? This is the dish I’m using them in.  It’s simple, can be served warm or room-temperature, and is filling.  Also, it continues to use my never-ending supply of zucchini, eggplant and summer squash.  Don’t worry though, there are still more squash dishes to come.  There’s also the winter squash coming this fall.

Grilled Vegetables, Chickpeas and Couscous Salad

1 Japanese eggplant, sliced*
1 zucchini, sliced*
1 yellow summer squash, sliced*
1 onion, thickly sliced
1-13 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup couscous
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, grated
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1/2 teaspoon of honey
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, depending on your preference
salt and pepper
1 cucumber, peeled, quarter and sliced (triangles, not half moons)
1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
2 tablespoons fresh mint, minced

Slice the eggplant, zucchini and summer squash into coins about 1/4 inch thick (the extra ratatouille vegetables will be fine).  Thickly slice the onion.  In a large bowl, grate the garlic, zest the lemon, add the red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and olive oil and whisk together.  Add the vegetables into the bowl and toss to coat.  Heat a grill pan to medium-high heat.  Add the vegetables to the grill pan and grill 2-3 minutes per side, until the grill marks have formed.  Remove from pan and continue grilling until all vegetables are cooked.  Do NOT overfill your grill pan.  This will result in undesirable veggie mush.  Reserve the excess marinade in the bowl.

In the meantime, in a small sauce pan bring 1 cup of water (or vegetable broth) to boil.  Once boiling add 1 cup of couscous, cover and remove from heat.  Leave covered for 5 minutes, then fluff.  Allow to cool if you want a room-temperature or cold salad; otherwise set aside.

In the bowl with the excess marinade, add the lemon juice and honey and whisk together with the remaining marinade.  Add the vegetables, couscous, chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes, parsley and mint to the bowl with the dressing and toss it all together.  Serve with crispy pita chips and maybe a dollop of plain yogurt.

*You can always use more eggplant, zucchini or summer squash if you want.  The grilled vegetables can be used in a variety of dishes.   For example, you may have noticed these grilled vegetables are very similar to the grilled zucchini in these quesadillas.


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