Warm Couscous Salad with Bell Peppers, Caramelized Summer Squash and Onions

Things I like about summer:  cold soup, salads, strawberries—and, obviously, alliteration!  I hope you’re as fond of these foods as I am because I’m going to continue posting a lot of them this summer.

Couscous is another item I never experienced in my Sicilian mom’s household.  The first time I ever tasted couscous was in my 30s when I tried a cold couscous salad with chickpeas, raisins, and green onions.  I enjoyed the combo very much; so I, of course, started collecting couscous recipes.

Although this couscous salad is warm, it is a staple for me all year; and I particularly enjoy it during the summer when fresh local produce is available.  You can invite your vegetarian friends over for dinner, but even carnivores will enjoy this tasty meal.

Warm Couscous Salad with Bell Peppers, Caramelized Summer Squash and Onions

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Ingredients

  • 1 10-oz. package of couscous
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large Vidalia onions, cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 2 large red bell peppers, cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 2 tbl. minced garlic
  • 4 small zucchini (4-6 inches long), cut into1/2 inch dice
  • 4 small yellow squash (4-6 inches long), cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions

Prepare the couscous according to package directions and cover to keep warm while you are preparing the vegetables.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt two tablespoons of the butter with two tablespoons of the oil.  Sauté the onions and bell peppers, stirring occasionally, until they are softened and browned around the edges, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and sauté for one additional minute.  Remove the onion/pepper mixture and put it in a bowl.  Cover to keep warm.

Add the remaining butter and oil to the pan.  Sauté the zucchini and yellow squash, stirring occasionally, until they are browned around the edges, about 5 minutes.

Add the parsley and sauté for one additional minute.  Place the squash in the bowl with the onion/pepper mixture.

Pile the prepared couscous onto a serving plate and put the vegetable mixture in the center.

Add salt and pepper to taste.   Sprinkle with the cheese, if using it, and serve immediately.

Source: Adapted from cdkitchen.com

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