Friday, May 2, 2008

Grilled Zucchini and Bell Pepper Couscous

One of the best things about living in a tiny town in the middle of North Central Ohio is that surrounding the town are even smaller towns, like the kind with one stoplight, and a whole lot of farmland. There is something nice about seeing acres of corn and wheat and even soybeans starting to grow. We're not there yet, but today was a sort sopping wet day where it rained on and off and back on again. During one of those breaks from the rain, as I was driving back from going grocery shopping at Meijers with a car load full of vegetables (seriously I went overboard again), I decided to drive with my window down. There is nothing as great as the smell of fresh wet dirt. It's the smell of possibility.

Last night, however, it was not raining. It was actually fairly hot. And I decided that we wouldn't be cooking inside. Perhaps I should explain that our tiny little house holds some heat, so the hotter the day, the hotter the night. So the Brain came home at just the right moment. I had the vegetables cut up and the pork chops seasoned. I think it made his day that I just handed him some tongs and the big lighter.

The vegetables were for this delicious Grilled Zucchini and Bell Pepper Couscous. Maybe I'm just lucky that I have a husband who can perfectly grill things, but the chopped up zucchini and red bell pepper were charred just right and softened just enough. I made the couscous. I love how easy couscous is and that it's ready within 5 minutes of the boiling liquid. Although I have to say, I'm not sure how Rachel Ray makes mashing garlic and salt look so easy. That was the hardest part of this whole recipe!

Oh and because we're a happy little family of 2 we naturally had leftovers. Those leftovers made and excellent lunch with some canned garbanzo beans and reheated for a minute in the microwave. I'm glad there's more leftover's for lunch tomorrow!

Grilled Zucchini and Bell Pepper Couscous
adapted from Gourmet

4 small zucchini (about 1 pound)
1 small red pepper
1 tsp olive oil
2 small garlic cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup couscous

Chop the zucchini and red pepper into chunks about 1 inch in size. Toss the vegetables in the oil and place in grill basket. Grill over medium heat until zucchini and red pepper are a little charred, but still crisp tender.

Mince garlic and mash to a paste with salt.

In a dry medium saucepan toast cumin seeds over moderately low heat, swirling pan occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add broth and water and bring to a boil. Add couscous and immediately cover pan. Remove pan from heat and let couscous stand 5 minutes. With a fork fluff couscous and in a bowl toss with vegetables, garlic paste, and salt to taste.


glamah16 said...

I too go overboard board with the veggies and fruit. Especially this time of the year.Only problem is we cant eat them fast enough. I'm lovin the griiled zuchinni with cous cous.

Peter M said...

This sounds wonderful...i'm diggin' the cumin in there!

Pixie said...

It's been a while since we had cous cous- we always seem to get stuck on making rice all the time. Seriously, need to change that.

Cakelaw said...

Love couscous - it is teamed with some lovely veges here. Three cheers for leftovers!

Deborah said...

This looks delicious! My husband is the perfect griller as well, so I will be trying this out!

LisaRene said...

Why is it men love to grill and are so successful at it? Every time I attempt to grill something most of the food ends up in the coals :)

Couscous is such a fun food! I learned a tip (don't recall from where) that to get light and fluffy couscous put the hot water and couscous in a wide container instead of the pot. The concept being that in the pot the couscous is all stacked on top of itself. By spreading it out in a thin layer, say a small lasagna type glass dish, it will be lighter and fluffier (clearly you need to cover the dish with foil or a lid). I haven't tried this technique yet but it makes sense.