By Carolyn Doyle
It may be nearly October, but there are plenty of grilling days left, and plenty of ways to make that grill do double or triple duty. Once it’s fired up, why not take full advantage of the heat your grill is putting out on these increasingly cool evenings?
Grilled vegetables are great accompaniment to that night’s dinner…and if you get into the habit of grilling extra, you can enjoy the smoky flavor for a couple of days to come.
Tossing a selection of grilled veggies with couscous makes a nice side dish. Serve it cold as a salad the next day…maybe with leftover grilled chicken?
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Grilled Vegetable Couscous
Makes about 8 servings
½ cup couscous
½ cup chicken or vegetable stock (or water), heated
1 pound eggplant, cut into ½-inch slices
Salt and pepper to taste
8 ounces zucchini or summer squash, cut into ½-inch slices
1 medium onion, halved horizontally
10 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes (about 2 cups), whole or halved
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons sliced fresh basil
Half a fresh lemon (optional)
Preheat grill. Place couscous in a bowl; pour stock or water over, cover and let sit 5-10 minutes.
Toss the eggplant slices with 1 teaspoon salt; let sit 10-15 minutes. Toss squash with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Brush cut sides of onion with oil.
Grill squash slices on both sides, until char marks are clearly visible and squash has softened. Remove from grill; set aside. Grill onion, cut sides down, turning occasionally until well charred.
Toss eggplant slices in 1 tablespoon oil; grill as for squash.
Cut the grilled onion into wedges. If needed, cut grilled vegetables into bite-sized pieces, saving any liquid.
In large bowl toss vegetables and liquid with tomatoes, garlic, basil and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper (and a little fresh lemon juice if desired). Add couscous and toss to combine. Let sit 5 minutes before serving. (Add a little extra stock or water if couscous is still dry.)
Are your vegetable slices falling between the grates? Try slicing veggies such as eggplant and squash lengthwise, into wide planks, for more secure grilling.
Variety is the spice…
If you have small “fairy tale” eggplants, halve them and grill, or use slices of narrow Asian eggplant. Try different kinds of squash, or other combinations of vegetables. This grilled veggie combo also would be great tossed with pasta, rice or quinoa.