Here’s a rather unique dish for using some of the abundance of zucchini which shows up in our gardens, grocery stores and farmer’s markets each summer. This recipe is simple to mix up and quite tasty. The dish pairs roasted zucchini squash and cherry tomatoes with couscous and a splash of red wine vinegar. What is couscous? It is sort of like a pasta which is about the size of small barley. This pasta-like ingredient sits on my kitchen shelf, lonely, just waiting for a recipe to come along to use it. Here’s a great pairing — the neutral couscous blends well with the tomatoes and zucchini. We really like this recipe!
What is couscous?
Couscous is made from semolina flour (the flour used to make pasta) which is somehow rolled and rolled until the flour forms into tiny balls. The type of couscous which is sold locally is easy to cook. If fact, you just add the dry couscous to boiling water (or broth) and let it steam for 5 minutes. Couscous becomes rather dry when it cools down, so prepare the couscous as the last step in this recipe. I don’t use couscous very often and am glad to finally find a recipe which includes this tiny pasta.
In this recipe, the zucchini, tomatoes and garlic are tossed in olive oil and roasted in the oven. The vegetables are then transferred to a bowl — along with any juices remaining from oven roasting. A little red wine vinegar is added along with the cooked couscous. (I added a chicken bouillon cube to the couscous while it steamed for flavor — this is optional.) Everything is gently tossed and transferred to a serving bowl. The juices from the vegetables, olive oil and vinegar really make this a flavorful dish!
Here are the ingredients. The seasonings (not shown) are salt, pepper and chicken bouillon.
I used one medium-sized zucchini and cut it into chunks. I cut the cherry tomatoes into halves. These were separately coated with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted in the oven. The zucchini takes longer to roast. So I removed the tomatoes after 5 minutes and added the minced, canned garlic to the zucchini which I roasted a little longer. After roasting, I transferred these to a small bowl (along with juices) and added red wine vinegar.
Meanwhile, I steamed the couscous in water along with one chicken bouillon cube. Then I gently mixed the steamed couscous into the prepared zucchini and tomatoes.
I transferred the mixture to a serving bowl and served while still warm.
This makes a delightful way to use up some of that endless supply of zucchini. Mixing it with tomatoes, garlic and red wine vinegar added a abundance of flavor to this dish. The couscous is bland and neutral in flavor and worked well with these vegetables. Hope you will enjoy this dish on some of these hot summer days!
Zucchini, Cherry Tomato & Couscous Medley
- 1 medium zucchini (about 8 oz and 2 cups diced)
- 1/2 cup yellow cherry tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp olive oil, divided, plus more for oiling baking sheet pan
- 1/2 tsp salt (divided)
- dash pepper
- 1 Tbsp minced, canned garlic
- 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 chicken bouillon cube (optional)
- 1/2 cup dry couscous
Method and Steps:
- Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Line large sheet pan with aluminum foil and lightly oil.
- Slice zucchini in fourths lengthwise, then slice in 1/2″ cuts to make cubes. Place in medium-sized bowl. Toss with 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt and a dash of pepper. Place in single layer on one half of prepared sheet pan
- Cut each cherry tomato in half and place in same bowl. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, remaining salt and pepper. Transfer to other half of prepared sheet pan. Do not overlap with zucchini.
- Place zucchini and tomatoes in oven. Roast for five minutes. Remove tomatoes with juices when they begin to blister and transfer to serving bowl.
- Toss zucchini. Sprinkle on minced garlic. Roast for an additional 5 minutes (10 minutes total). When just fork-tender transfer to same serving bowl as tomatoes.
- Sprinkle roasted zucchini and tomatoes with balsamic vinegar. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, boil couscous. Add water and chicken bouillon cube (optional) to medium-sized sauce pan and bring to boil. Add dry couscous. Cover and remove from stove. Let steam for 5 minutes.
- Fluff couscous and add to roasted zucchini and cherry tomatoes. Carefully fold couscous into vegetables.