My hubby’s work picnic was held a few days ago – it’s always fun, but this year we had such a nice time! This is our third year in attendance and we’ve gotten to know just about everyone, including the spouses and kids. This year, there were a number of new faces in the crowd and we made sure that we talked with them and welcomed them into the fold. Several of them are vegetarian, so I always plan a vegetarian dish for them (and me!). This year, I decided to bring a roasted veggie salad.
Went to my local farm market and got zucchini and yellow squash. Previously, they had some great looking eggplant, but not on the day that I went. So, had to zip over to the store and supplement my farm market purchase with carrots, eggplant, and an onion. Came home, washed it all and cut it up. I quartered the squashes and eggplant and then sliced them into pieces about a 1/2 inch thick. I sliced the onion into slivers. My plan was to cut the carrots on the diagonal, but I had some pretty big carrots, so I sliced on the diagonal and then cut those pieces in half.
I had a large bowl that I had put a little olive oil, ground cumin, and freshly ground pepper in. As I chopped the veggies, they were added to the bowl and mixed around with the olive oil and spices. When that was done, I put the veggies on two baking sheets spread with parchment paper. I drizzled a little more olive oil on top and sprinkled with sea salt. The veggies went into my oven that was heated to 425 degrees Farenheit. Every ten minutes or so, I’d take them out and stir them around to make sure they weren’t burning – the first time out of the oven, they were really giving off some steam !! As they roasted, they lost more and more moisture. Finally, after about 35 minutes or so, I could see the carrots were “al dente” and the rest of the veggies were nicely browned. I let them come to room temperature while I made the couscous.
Once the couscous was made, I mixed it in with the roasted veggies. I lined a VERY large bowl with baby spinach and arugula and then placed the veggies and couscous in the center. And we were off to the picnic!!
Roasted Veggie and Couscous Medley
2 large zucchini, quartered and cut into pieces
2 medium yellow summer squash, quartered and cut into pieces
3 medium carrots, cut on diagonal
1 eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch slices and quartered
1 yellow onion, slivered
2-3 Tbl olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground pepper
Sea Salt for sprinkling
1 box plain couscous, cooked according to directions (I used veggie broth)
A mixture of baby spinach and arugula (or other salad greens)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Farenheit
Wash and cut all veggies as directed. Place in large bowl with olive oil, cumin and black pepper. Toss to ensure even coating. When all the veggies have been cut, divide between two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Drizzle a little more olive oil on the vegetables and sprinkle with sea salt. Place in preheated oven for about 35 minutes, stirring every ten minutes or so. As the veggies roast, they will give of less and less steam. When done, carrots will be “al dente” and the other veggies will be lightly browned. Cool the veggies to room temperature and make the couscous.
Once the couscous is ready, toss it to fluff and cool down a bit. Add to the room temperature veggies. Toss, rather than stir, to mix it all together.
Line a large bowl or platter with the spinach and arugula. Carefully place the roasted veggies and couscous in the center of the greens. Chill if you like, but the salad can be served immediately at room temperature.
PS – I MEANT to add a can of chickpeas to this salad, but I forgot !!! You might also add roasted pine nuts or almonds to the salad.