Toasted Israeli Couscous with Grilled Vegetables and Lemon-Balsamic Vinaigrette

Adapted from a recipe by Bobby Flay

Serves 4 to 6

My late sister, Sue, was a vegetarian among other things. She was a great kid and I loved her dearly. One day, I called her up and said, “Let’s have dinner and I’ll cook, vegetarian of course.”
This is one of the dishes I prepared and it was so good I have made it several times for my family and friends. Grilled vegetables are what make it. The slightly smoky flavor comes through and the lemon balsamic vinaigrette adds a nice counterpoint to the whole dish.
If you have never tried couscous, I suggest you do. This recipe uses Israeli couscous (also known as pearl couscous) which is slightly larger than normal couscous. I like them both, but the larger Israeli couscous is very tasty.

Recipe follows.
Toasted Israeli Couscous with Grilled Vegetables and Lemon-Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/2 pound (8 ounces) Israeli couscous
1 tablespoon salt
12 spears asparagus, grilled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 zucchini, halved, grilled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 yellow squash, halved, grilled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large red peppers, grilled, peeled and diced into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
Lemon-Balsamic Vinaigrette, recipe follows


  1. Heat large sauté pan over medium heat and add the couscous.
  2. Toast until lightly golden brown.
  3. At the same time, bring 6 cups of water to a boil over high heat, add 1 tablespoon salt and toasted couscous and cook until al dente (follow the instructions on the box).
  4. Drain well and place in a large bowl.
  5. Add grilled vegetables, olives, basil, and vinaigrette and toss until combined; season with salt and pepper.
  6. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving or cover and refrigerate.
  7. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Lemon-Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 small shallot, minced
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Whisk shallot, juice, zest, vinegars, and salt and pepper together in a small bowl.
  2. Slowly whisk in oil until emulsified.

1 Response to “Toasted Israeli Couscous with Grilled Vegetables and Lemon-Balsamic Vinaigrette”

  1. 1 Alan Stamm September 4, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    We love couscous and look forward to trying this and your other enticing recipe!

    Thanks for steering me here.

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