I truly love couscous and if you follow my blog you probably already know that (I have posted quite a few couscous recipes). I love cooking and eating it. It’s so versatile. You can flavor it with so many different things. I almost always put lemon juice in mine, and this roasted vegetable couscous was no exception. This was the perfect accompaniment to my chicken with wine and thyme sauce (recipe to come). The lemon juice brightens the flavor so it’s still light and fresh enough for summer, but the roasted vegetables give the dish a nice depth, so it also works for fall.
You can really use whichever veggie combination sounds good to you, whatever you have on hand, as long as they roast well (obviously don’t use veggies like cucumbers or celery). I happened to have asparagus spears, sliced baby portabella mushrooms (another item I cook with frequently), red bell pepper, leftover yellow squash, and some red onion. All the veggies should be cut into bite sized pieces.
Please note, I used low sodium chicken broth to cook the couscous. Since couscous is pretty bland on it’s own I like to add in as much flavor as I can and using chicken broth as opposed to water is a way of doing that. However, if you are trying to make this vegetarian or vegan, just use water or vegetable broth instead of chicken stock/broth. The roasted vegetables and lemon give the dish plenty of flavor so the chicken broth can easily be substituted for a meat free option.
1.5 cups sliced baby portabella mushrooms
1.5 cups diced yellow squash
1.5 cups diced asparagus pieces
1 red bell pepper diced
1/2 red onion diced
salt and pepper
1 cup of couscous uncooked
1 cup of low sodium chicken broth or stock
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 garlic clove minced
chives for garnish (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Lay all the chopped vegetables (mushrooms, yellow squash, asparagus, bell pepper and red onion) on a baking sheet (I used a stoneware baking sheet) and toss with about 3 tablespoons of olive oil and a good sprinkling of salt and pepper. Spread the veggies in a single layer and bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes (30 minutes for stoneware baking sheets).
3. While the veggies roast in the oven, bring 1 cup of low sodium chicken broth to a boil in a pot (with a lid). Once it comes to a boil, remove the pot from the heat and add 1 cup of uncooked couscous to the hot chicken stock. Stir so that all the couscous is submerged in the stock and then cover with the lid for 5 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed and the couscous is tender.
4. Add the zest and juice of the lemon, minced garlic clove, about 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper to the couscous after it is cooked and while it is still hot/warm. Mix well.
5. Once the vegetables are finished cooking, add them to the couscous and stir to combine.
6. Taste for seasoning and garnish with about 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh chives for extra color and freshness.