The grill has been going strong at our house the past couple of weeks.
I have transitioned much of my meal prep to the grill instead of the oven for the season (i.e. we don’t have central air). The past few weeks I’ve grilled chicken and a bunch of veggies to have on hand for lunches and dinner throughout the week. While I do appreciate grilled vegetables on their own I also love to play around and mix them in to new dishes.
When we hosted a few couples for a small dinner party over memorial weekend I was excited to incorporate grilled vegetables into a bright new spring and summer side dish. Toasted Israeli couscous gets tossed with any grilled vegetables you like, and dressed with a creamy lemon tahini dressing studded with fresh herbs. I used bell pepper and summer squash. Zucchini, mushrooms, or even corn would also be great additions to the couscous salad.
This side dish is creamy, satisfying, and great with anything else you like to grill – meat, more vegetables, burgers, whatever you like. It can be served warm, cold, or at room temp. It doesn’t need to be kept cold and is perfect for summer picnics too. This might be my new favorite side dish.
What do you look forward to grilling this season?
I would love to see what you whip up. Tag #Mexitalianrecipes on social media.
- 8 oz Israeli couscous (I used Trader Joe's brand)
- 1¾ c chicken or vegetable broth
- 3 t olive oil, divided
- 2 medium summer squash, sliced thick (sub zucchini)*
- 1 bell pepper*, halved with seeds removed
- ¼ c fresh herbs such as flat leaf parsley, basil, cilantro
- Toasted slivered almonds to garnish (optional)
- ¼ c tahini
- Juice and zest of one lemon
- 3 T extra virgin olive oil
- ½ t salt
- ¼ t ground black pepper
- Add 1t olive oil to a sauce pan, set to medium heat. Add the dry couscous and toast lightly in the olive oil until the couscous begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the broth, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until the liquid has absorbed and the couscous is fluffy, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- To prepare the dressing, whisk all the ingredients together. Taste for salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Drizzle the remaining oil on the sliced vegetables and sprinkle lightly with salt. Grill the vegetables until soft and lightly charred. Allow the vegetables to cool, then dice.
- In a large bowl, combine the Israeli couscous, grilled vegetables, and tahini dressing. Mix well. Gently fold in the herbs.
- Garnish with slivered almonds and extra herbs if desired. Serve warm, cold, or at room temperature.