Roasted Vegetable Couscous
After a long day of riding the mountain trails, you can build up a good appetite. This dish from Ellen Comeaux is great to serve in the fall for a dinner with friends. Ellen prefers to serve it with gamier meats, but says it can be served with any protein. Her preference is lamb, followed by duck. and her husband loves it with pretty much anything! She says a nice salmon steak would also hold up well. The following are her favorite vegetable combinations, but you can easily vary it according to season, what is in the refrigerator or at your local store.
Makes ~8 servings
1 (10 oz.) box Near East Couscous – plain (or you could use another brand of couscous or buy in bulk. 10 oz. makes 4 1/2 cups cooked.) It will be prepared according to package instructions on box when the vegetables are almost fully cooked, following the instructions below.
Veggies – Vary according to personal taste and what is available at your local farmer’s market. The measurements are approximate.
Chop into bite-sized pieces:
- 1 small zucchini, chopped
- 3 bunches of baby bok choy or 1 large bok choy
- Sweet bell pepper (I prefer orange or red for color)
- 1 cup broccoli
- 1 Japanese eggplant (about 1 cup)
- 3 cups wild mushrooms or crimini mushrooms (or a mix) – your choice. I prefer shiitake and chanterelle when in season.
- Corn – 1 ear of fresh corn separated, or 1 c. canned corn (do not use frozen)
- 1 cup asparagus
Spices – minced:
- 4-5 cloves garlic (or 6-7 … couldn’t hurt)
- ½ cup shallots (large shallot, minced fine)
- 1 jalapeno pepper (deseeded, deveined and minced fine)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon chili oil (or to taste)
After 20 minutes, stir the vegis very well, making sure to get those that are sticking on the bottom. They should have started to shrink by now. Return to oven and set timer for 20 min. By now, the vegis should be starting to brown significantly. THIS IS GREAT! The secret to this recipe is getting those vegis almost crispy. Stir again, and scrape the sides of pan. Return to oven and set for 10 min.
NOW – Prepare your couscous according to package instructions during this 10 minute period.
When couscous is done, fluff it with a fork in the pot you prepared it in. Remove veggies from oven and add in the couscous to the roasting pan. Mix very well – using the fork to break apart clumps of couscous as needed.
Return the couscous/vegi mixture to the oven and heat for another 10 minutes. During this 10 minutes – you should be able to prepare your meat option.
Couscous can be kept in warm oven if your meat option takes a bit longer than 10 minutes, just turn off heat and hold.
Serve couscous warm, preferably with some yummy lamb or duck! (OR … steak as you can see we did!! But after a long day of trails in Park City, UT (& being from the MidWest) a steak was top on the list for …“What’s for dinner tonight!!” Makes great left overs!!
(THANKS Ellen !! We loved it!)