This dish delivers on that and so much more. I love it for a number of reasons... the roasted veggies make your house smell heavenly, it makes a ton of food, and it can be served warm or cold and as a main dish or a side salad.
Chopping and prepping the veggies can take 20-25 minutes, which is the only downside in my opinion. I find that pouring a glass of wine to drink while you work helps the situation greatly ;)
This recipe calls for Israeli couscous which is also called pearl couscous. It's bigger than traditional North African couscous and tastes more like pasta than rice. It's delicious too!
Think of this as the basic framework for a house that you can decorate however you want. Use the veggies you have on hand or whatever is fresh at your grocery store or farmers market. Chop them large or small to suit your preference. And add the dressing to suit your taste. I added about half the dressing the night I made it and then added a bit more the next day once it had time to blend with the veggies and couscous. You can always add more later but you can't fix something you've overdressed.
Have fun with this, make it as a side salad with a nice steak or pack it for lunch instead of your usual sandwich!
Roasted Veggies with Israeli Couscous
1 small eggplant, chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 small yellow squash, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped, seeds removed
1 small red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups dry Israeli Couscous
1/4 cup chopped basil
1/3 cup feta cheese
For the Balsamic Dressing:3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Roast the vegetables: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Chop and arrange the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, red pepper, onion, and garlic in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Drizzle vegetables with olive oil and gently toss. Season with salt and pepper. Place the pan in the oven and roast for about 30-35 minutes, stirring vegetables occasionally. Remove vegetables from the oven and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, bring three cups of water to a boil. Add a generous pinch of salt, stir in the Israeli couscous. Reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer until couscous is just tender, with a slight bite, about 10 to 13 minutes. Drain into a fine mesh strainer and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine couscous and roasted vegetables. Stir in the basil and feta cheese.
To make the dressing: In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, mustard, and garlic. Add the oil in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour dressing over couscous and vegetables and stir until well combined.
Serve at room temperature or chilled.