I must admit, this was rather time-consuming since my oven isn't big enough to roast all the vegetables at once and I had to do it in two rounds. Had I been feeling less grill-shy I would have grilled the veggies instead, which would be quicker and would heat the house less. But although it's a bit more work up front, it will make for easy meals later in the week.
I didn't add any oil or dressing to the salad because the veggies were so flavorful on their own. The only oil comes from what I used to roast the veggies. If you want to go oil-free, you could roast them on parchment paper but you won't get that caramelized flavor. This recipe can be easily modified based on your tastes and what vegetables and herbs you have. I like the hearty Israeli couscous but you could substitute a different grain, such as quinoa, rice, or faro. We ate this as a main dish with a raw kale salad on the side. (The kale came from our Living Stones CSA.) It would also be a nice side dish with tofu or tempeh.
Israeli Couscous & Roasted Vegetable Salad
3-4 summer squash, cut in half lengthwise and then into 1 inch slices
2 red bell peppers, cut into 1 inch pieces
Sweet onion (such as Vidalia), sliced
Salt and pepper
1-2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 ½ cups Israeli couscous (I used tri-color)
1 can (14 oz.) vegetable broth
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
¼ cup pinenuts, lightly toasted in a dry skillet
Fresh basil leaves, torn
For the squash, peppers, and onions
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray two large baking sheets with olive oil.
2. On one sheet, lay the squash slices in a single layer. Spray lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
3. Repeat with the peppers and onions on the other baking sheet.
4. Roast for 30-40 minutes, until the vegetables begin to get brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
For the tomatoes and garlic
1. While the veggies are roasting, prep the tomatoes and garlic. Spray a glass baking dish with olive oil. Add tomatoes in a single layer. Spray lightly with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper, and minced garlic.
2. When the other veggies are done, turn up the oven to 450 degrees F. Roast the tomatoes for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, stir, and return to the oven for another 20 minutes.
3. Remove from oven and gently press each tomato with the back of a spoon to smash. Allow to cool.
For the couscous
1. While the veggies are roasting, bring the broth to a boil in a medium saucepan.
2. Add the couscous, stir, and lower heat to simmer. Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring a few times, until liquid has been absorbed.
3. Pour couscous into a mesh sieve and rinse with cool water. Drain well and put it into a large serving bowl.
Putting it all together
When cool, add roasted veggies (along with any juice from the tomatoes) to couscous. Add chickpeas and pine nuts. Stir well. Add fresh basil to taste. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Makes about 8 cups.