Toasted Israeli Couscous Salad with Grilled Summer Vegetables

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This gorgeous vegetarian (and vegan) meal showcases the sweet flavors of grilled summer vegetables. I love the toothsome bite of al dente Israeli couscous, and it makes a perfect bed for the bright vegetables. I made the full recipe so David and I could have leftovers and it made a ton! I would say it would serve 4 very hungry people for an entrée, but more likely 4-6 people. It paired well for us with a crisp, white wine. -The Jumper Sauvignon Blanc- 2012.

from: Bobby Flay
serves: 4

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 green zucchini, quartered lengthwise

2 yellow zucchini, quartered lengthwise (I substituted small/medium carrots instead, I love grilled carrots!)
6 spears asparagus, trimmed
12 cherry tomatoes (Neither of us like these grilled. I think I’ll leave them raw next time, or omit them.)
1 red bell pepper, quartered and seeded
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, quartered and seeded
1/4 cup basil chiffonade (stack leaves, roll in a cigar shape and cut crosswise into thin strips)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound Israeli couscous
2 cups vegetable stock, heated
Hot water to cover

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In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard and garlic, slowly add the olive oil and whisk until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Pour half of the marinade over the vegetables and let them sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Preheat the grill. Remove the vegetables from the marinade and grill the vegetables until just cooked through.

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Cut the zucchini and peppers into 1/2-inch pieces, cut the tomatoes in half. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, add the couscous and toast until lightly golden brown. Cover the couscous with the hot stock and enough hot water to cover the couscous. Bring to a boil and cook until al dente. Drain well. Place in a large serving bowl, add the grilled vegetables and herbs and toss with the remaining vinaigrette. Serve at room temperature.

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* David and both thought the asparagus was the star of the show. I will definitely be using this marinade for grilled asparagus in the future!

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