Sunday, June 26, 2011

Grilled Vegetables with Pearled Couscous

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Here's a fresh, colorful side dish for your next potluck or dinner party.  You can use any assortment of seasonal vegetables.  This recipe feeds a crowd, and its flavors are amazing.  It will surely be the star of your dinner.  The pearled couscous is bigger in size and rounder in shape than regular couscous.  It adds a nice chewy texture to the dish.  I would definitely make this recipe again.

2 boxes of Near East brand Pearled Couscous (at Safeway/Vons)
3T olive oil
5 cups of vegetable or chicken stock

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Grilled Vegetables:
3-4 zucchini, cut lengthwise in 2"x1/2" pieces
2 yellow zucchini, cut lengthwise in 2"x1/2" pieces
10 asparagus, cut into thirds
12 cherry tomatoes
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
2 medium portobello mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup basil, chiffonade cut
1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley

Saute the pearled couscous in olive oil until toasty in color.  Add the chicken stock.  Cook uncovered until the liquid is absorbed.  Add the lid and set aside for a few minutes.  Mix the marinade ingredients together in a separate bowl.  Pour 1/2 of the marinade over the vegetables and marinate for 15 minutes.  Grill the vegetables on the barbeque.  The onions, red and green bell peppers take longer to cook, so cook them first by themselves.  Then cook the rest of the vegetables together.  Toss the vegetables with the couscous, basil and parsley.  Add some (not all) of the additional marinade and season with salt and pepper.  Can be served at room temperature.  Delicious the next day too.

Sharon's Fig Jam Appetizer

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While visiting the Bay Area, cousin Sharon Brooks made us a tasty fig jam and goat cheese appetizer.  The goat cheese has a mild tang to it and blends well with the sweet fig jam over a slice of cocktail size pumpernickel bread.  It is the perfect pairing with a glass of wine.  Super easy!

1 loaf of cocktail size pumpernickel bread, thinly sliced
6 oz. goat cheese, softened
6 oz. jar of fig jam

Spread the goat cheese on the bread, then top with a dollop of fig jam.  Delicious.