Israeli Couscous Salad with Roasted Vegetables

We have been having a bit of a lazy summer.  With the kids out of school and enrolled in half day camps we seem to spend the rest of our time just enjoying being home…unless of course we are busy breaking up bickering children (whose idea were half day camps anyway?!).  One of our favorite activities has been tending our little garden, which is really starting to produce lots of vegetables.  We are overwhelmed with zucchini and cucumber and can’t wait for the tomatoes to ripen.  While it hasn’t been unbearably hot, we did have a few really humid days.  The sort where you really don’t want to do anything at all. Those are the days that we find perfect for cooking on the grill and keeping it super simple.

One of our favorite summer suppers is this Israeli couscous salad with roasted vegetables.  If your garden is anything like ours you are being bombarded with zucchini.  We go to bed with a few normal size zucchini and wake up with monsters.  Our one plant has produced more zucchini than I can count, and growing it upright on tomato frames has worked quite well for us.  For this salad we roasted off thickly sliced zucchini, peppers, and onions which had all been tossed in really good olive oil and sea salt.  Despite eating the salad cold, the roasted flavors provide a depth that you can’t get with raw vegetables.  We also diced up tomato and cucumber and used a variety of herbs such as mint, oregano and thyme.  Growing these things in pots on our deck has been so amazing.  If you cut the herbs properly your plants will continue to grow all summer.

The vegetables were tossed with Israeli couscous, lots of olive oil, lemon juice and the zest of one lemon.  The trick with the couscous is to toast it first in about two tablespoons of olive oil and spices.  We use a Moroccan blend and find that it really enhances the flavor of the finished couscous.  After toasting it we simply add the recommended amount of boiling water and cook it off.  After it is finished you can also add feta and bacon if you like, which we often do.  This is one of those salads that is good both warm or cold and even better on day two.  The Israeli couscous makes it feel more of a meal and the colors are great with the vegetables.  What is your go to summer salad? We’d love to know!