VEGETABLE COUSCOUS SALAD

vegcouscous

Adapted from The Italian Farmer’s Table

Serves 6

1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
6 and 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
1 and 3/4 cups water
8 ounces couscous
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
1 small eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices
8 ounces quartered cherry tomatoes
1 cup cooked chickpeas
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons chopped mint
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

Mix the chili powder, cinnamon, ground ginger, garlic powder, and coriander in a small bowl.

Heat 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a small nonstick skillet over low heat. Add the spice mixture and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

In a 2- or 3-quart saucepan, combine the water, the spice mixture and a pinch of salt and bring up to a boil. Pour the couscous into the boiling water, cover and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes, covered.

Meanwhile, sauté the onion and the eggplant in a nonstick skillet with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, over medium-high heat, until the eggplant is crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then remove to a paper towel to drain.

Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the pan and cook the zucchini until golden brown and slightly crispy. Drain on paper towels.

Transfer the couscous to a large bowl and fluff with a fork. Stir in the tomatoes, chickpeas, zucchini, eggplant, and onions until well mixed. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and the fresh herbs and fold these in gently. Refrigerate until ready to serve, or serve at room temperature.

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