Sweet sour grilled vegetable and couscous salad

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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.

Servings: 5

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

3 tomatoes

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.