Monday, October 29, 2007

Basil Roasted Vegetables Over Couscous

I have been wanting to make couscous for a while now. Not as a side dish, but as a main course. I used to have some fabulous couscous salads with fresh cucumber and tomatoes, but I enjoy those in summer time. Fall is upon us and I wanted something warm and hearty. While I have plenty of cookbooks to choose from, I just couldn't find what I was looking for. So I looked into my "recipes" folder on my computer. I have been carrying around this recipe (saved in notepad) from the June 1996 issue of Cooking Light. But it is still just as good as it was ten years ago. And my family agrees as well! Most of them were afraid of the goat cheese but once they tasted it the realized that it really made this dish special.

Basil Roasted Vegetables Over Couscous

According to folklore, basil is a harbinger of romance. Should a man give a sprig to a woman, she will fall in love with him and never, ever leave him. In Italy, if a woman puts a pot of basil on her windowsill, it means she is ready to receive her suitor. She might have many suitors if she serves this recipe, too.

2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 medium zucchini, cut into 1-inch slices
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium red onion, cut into 8 wedges
1 (8-ounce) package mushrooms
3 cups hot cooked couscous
1 (3-ounce) package basil-flavored chèvre (goat cheese), crumbled
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Fresh basil sprigs (optional)

Preheat oven to 425°.
Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; stir well. Add zucchini, bell peppers, onion, and mushrooms; toss well to coat. Arrange vegetables in a single layer in a shallow roasting pan. Bake at 425° for 35 minutes or until tender and browned, stirring occasionally.

Spoon roasted vegetables over couscous, and top with cheese. Sprinkle with pepper. Garnish with fresh basil sprigs, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup vegetables, 3/4 cup couscous, and 1 1/2 tablespoons cheese)

CALORIES 65(3% from fat); FAT 0.2g (sat 0.1g,mono 0.1g,poly 0.0g); PROTEIN 2.5g; CHOLESTEROL 1mg; CALCIUM 67mg; SODIUM 59mg; FIBER 0.0g; IRON 0.2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 13.3g

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