Weekly Winner: Grilled, Green Goddess Goodness

Try saying that a few times fast. Or better yet, don’t…just eat it! This Couscous Salad with Green Goddess Dressing has a lot going for it: Israeli couscous, chickpeas, grilled summer veggies, and creamy, green goddess dressing. (Cue Sound of Music’s “My Favorite Things”)

As a kid, the only way to get me to (reasonably) willingly eat a salad was to have a bottle of Green Goddess, Creamy Cucumber, or …as a last resort, Ranch dressing nearby.  I’m still a sucker for those and this one is a keeper.  Plus, with all that healthy goodness in the bowl, you don’t feel so bad adding a creamy homemade dressing.

The recipe comes from Food Network Magazine.  I can see this making a perfect picnic potluck salad, a great side dish for any grilled meat, or…as we had it, a very cool and tasty lunch all by itself.   I suppose you could make this without grilling the vegetables but it adds so much that I don’t know why you would.  The veggies grill up in the time it takes to make the couscous and is definitely worth it.

Couscous Salad with Green Goddess Dressing

Serves 6

Ingredients

Kosher salt

1 cup Israeli couscous

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Freshly ground pepper

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

2 red bell peppers, halved lengthwise

1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 15 -ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

3/4 cup green goddess dressing (see below)

Procedure:

Preheat a grill to medium high (or do what I did and use a grill pan). Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the couscous and cook until just tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl; toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, soak the red onion in a small bowl of hot water, 10 minutes. Toss the bell peppers and zucchini in a large bowl with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, the cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Grill the vegetables, turning once, until well marked and tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool to room temperature. Cut the peppers into 1-inch pieces and slice the zucchini into half-moons.

Drain the onion and add to the couscous along with the bell peppers, zucchini and chickpeas. Add the dressing and toss; season with salt and pepper.

Green Goddess Dressing

Combine 1/2 cup each mayonnaise and sour cream, 1/3 cup each chopped parsley and chives, and 1/4 cup chopped tarragon in a blender. Add 2 anchovy fillets, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tablespoon capers, the juice of 1 lemon, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and a few grinds of pepper; puree until smooth. (Makes 1 1/2 cups.)

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