Sweet sour grilled vegetable and couscous salad
I love taking advantage of local vegetable in the UAE. It is such a short season where the supermarkets and vegetable markets are flooded with organic, local produce. I especially love the king of vegetable, the aubergine, it is sweet and mostly with no annoying seeds inside. As for the tomatoes I know they were picked the day before and they are perfectly ripe, the same applies to the small yummy zucchini. As far as the peppers, I still find the Iranian and Jordanian to be the best, the aroma they produce is enough to guide you to them.
I love entertaining, and despite being a genie in the kitchen I really don’t want to be spending hours sweating away from my guests, therefore I plan the menu carefully, I choose dishes that I can prepare ahead of time and just do final; touches before serving and I prefer dishes I can bake in the oven. Planning carefully relieves the stress of hosting and makes having guests a more enjoyable experience.
This salad is a staple when I have big gatherings and parties because it is effortless to prepare, cheap, delicious, healthy and tastes better when made a day ahead.
Grilling the vegetable with vinegar, salt and sugar elevate the dish, as the three elements work magic together.
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Start to finish: 35 minutes
baking: 30 minutes
1 medium aubergine
3 small zucchinis (courgettes)
1 Spanish onion
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
4 cloves garlic unpeeled
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon chilli
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons apple vinegar
3 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup chopped parsley
a handful of pine nuts
2/3 cup couscous
* Preheat the oven to 200 C fan setting.
* Cook the couscous according to manufacturers instructions and leave aside to cool.
* Roughly chop all the vegetables and place them on a baking sheet along with the unpeeled garlic cloves.
* Season with sugar, oregano, chilli flakes, salt, vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and bake uncovered for 30 to 35 minutes. Make sure you turn the vegetables every now and again, so the surface does not burn.
* Set the vegetables to cool aside and adjust the salt.
* Toast the pine nuts in the remainder of the oil and set aside.
* Toss the couscous, pine nuts and the grilled vegetables together then add the chopped parsley.
* Serve chilled.
* To make it a rounded meal add a protein such as grilled chicken or chickpeas.
* You can grill the vegetables day ahead, and the flavour only gets better.
* Add any vegetables you fancy.
Per Serving: 1314 Calories; 130g Fat (87.2% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 37g Carbohydrate; 7g Dietary Fiber; trace Cholesterol; 16mg Sodium.