Roasted Spring Vegetables and Couscous

Hi! Please note the use of the word “spring” in the post title. It’s been spring since late March by the calendar but it snowed here on Sunday morning, with accumulation, which was annoying and not at all conducive to doing things like planting herbs or eating outside on the patio (the patio that was covered in S N O W).

Anyway, this is a warmer-weather version of a roasted vegetable dinner I made over the winter. That version involved potatoes, carrots, red onion and Brussels sprouts, roasted in the oven with some chicken and topped with a honey mustard and herb glaze. This recipe calls for asparagus, bell pepper, onion and zucchini, tossed in herbs and olive oil and combined with Israeli couscous.

I found this recipe by Googling “meatless Monday” which is enough of A Thing that it has IMG_1479its own website. Maybe that is not new information to most of the internet but it was to me? Anyway, meatless Monday is not something we do as a rule but sometimes it’s nice to lighten up after any weekend indulgences (this weekend: all the wines and my husband’s chicken pot pie, based on this recipe). After all of that, this ended up not being totally meatless (whoops), because we had some leftover rotisserie chicken from the pot pie. Seemed a shame to waste it, so I chopped it up and tossed it on top of the vegetables and couscous. I also skipped the beans called for in the original recipe, and if I was going to add them I think I’d go cannellini or garbanzo, but that’s just a personal preference.

Here’s the link to the Meatless Monday version, with my variation below.

Roasted Spring Vegetables with Couscous

1 c Israeli couscous
1 veggie (or chicken) bouillon cube, or 1 1/4 c broth
1 bunch asparagus spears, trimmed to 2-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, sliced to 2-inch strips
1 zucchini, sliced
1/2 white onion, sliced to 2-inch strips
1T olive oil
1t garlic powder
1t Italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
2-3T olive oil
1-2t lemon juice
Dash balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 450. Cover a baking sheet with foil or parchment. Prep vegetables, taking care to slice or chop the pieces in similar sizes so they will roast evenly. Place the vegetables in a large bowl, and add 1T olive oil, garlic powder, Italian seasoning (if you don’t have it, make your own like I do) and salt and pepper to taste. Toss the vegetables to coat evenly in oil and seasonings. Turn the vegetables out onto the baking sheet and distribute evenly; place in the oven and roast for about 15 minutes. You can check on them to ascertain tenderness and color; toss or stir and continue roasting if necessary. Mind that the asparagus spears don’t burn.

While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the couscous. Bring 1 1/4 cup water to a boil and dissolve bouillon cube (or bring 1 1/4 cup broth to a boil). Add the couscous and prepare as directed on the package.

Remove vegetables from oven and set aside to cool slightly. In a small bowl, mix remaining olive oil and lemon juice to taste. When the couscous is ready, stir it together with the vegetables and lemon juice/olive oil mixture (be sparing at first and taste as you go; you can always add more, but you don’t want it to be too oily). Add balsamic vinegar to taste.

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