Balsamic marinated vegetables, toasted Israeli couscous, and fresh herbs are tossed in a simple and flavorful lemon vinaigrette. This Grilled Vegetables and Couscous Salad is healthy and delicious!
One of the reasons why I love this salad is because it’s truly packed with delicious veggies. Bell peppers, yellow squash, onions and asparagus are the goodies I had at hand, but you can incorporate, add or subtract as many vegetables as you like. Zucchini, eggplant and mushrooms are all great options!
Drizzling the vegetables with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar add to the overall flavor while the grilling process accentuates and concentrates the vegetables’ natural flavors and intensifies the vibrancy of the colors, making this a beautiful dish.
My little one loves this Grilled Vegetables and Couscous Salad. He is a big fan of vegetables and pasta. Now pasta shaped like little balls – what kid wouldn’t like that? So fun!
I toast the Israeli couscous a little before adding the liquid and simmering. Now about the liquid, you can use plain water if you wish but I always like to add extra flavor and/or nutrients into things if possible. Simmering the couscous in broth would result in a much tastier dish. Vegetable broth is perfect but I always have chicken stock handy so that is what I usually use (and my so-called vegetarian little child doesn’t have a clue about it!)
- Season the salad with salt and pepper to your taste. The couscous will need some salt but I can’t put an exact amount on the recipe because it all depends on what type of liquid you will be using to cook it. Even if using commercially available broth, some are saltier than others and some are just plain bland! So season accordingly.
- I used all of the vinaigrette on my salad however, add about three quarters of it, toss and taste. You can always add more but to subtract you may have to find a way to master the art of time travel!
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 cups Israeli couscous
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth (you can also use water)
- 1 red bell pepper, cored and quartered
- 1 orange bell pepper, cored and quartered
- 1 zucchini or yellow squash, sliced lengthwise into planks
- 1 small onion, cut in half
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 bunch (1-pound) asparagus, trimmed
In a small bowl or lidded jar whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Reserve until needed.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the Israeli couscous and toast stirring frequently until lightly golden brown. Add 1 1/2 cups of broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.
Uncover and fluff the couscous with a fork. Set aside
Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or prepare the outside grill (medium-high heat).
In a sheet pan or large pan, place all the vegetables and drizzle them with remaining olive oil and the balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste and mix until all the vegetables are coated.
Working in batches, grill the vegetables until tender and lightly charred. About 8- 10 minutes for the bell peppers and onion, 7 minutes for the yellow squash (or zucchini), and about 4 minutes for the asparagus.
Remove the vegetables from the grill and when cool enough to handle, cut them into 1-inch pieces.
- In a medium bowl mix the grilled vegetables with the Israeli couscous. Toss with the vinaigrette. Add the fresh mint and basil and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.