Mediterranean Dinner – Roasted Vegetables with Green Olive Vinaigrette and Pistachio Couscous & Carrot Dip with Crushed Walnuts and Olives

These 2 recipes are not mine, I found them in the Vegetarian Times (March-April 2013). I prepared them today for my Viking, who has just came back home after one of his trips abroad. Tired but happy, he really enjoyed his dinner and me too!

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Roasted Vegetables with Green Olive Vinaigrette and Pistachio Couscous

Serves 6 | 30 minutes or fewer

Harissa and tabil, the two cornerstone seasonings of Tunisian cooking, spice up a colorful entrée of roasted vegetables and pistachio-laced couscous. (To mix up your own tabil, see p. 44.) Feel free to substitute other seasonal vegetables (e.g., cauliflower, winter squash, and even root vegetables such as turnips, parsnips, or celery root) for the zucchini throughout the year.

VEGETABLES
1½ lb. zucchini, ends trimmed, quartered lengthwise
2 medium red bell peppers, cut into strips
6 white mushroom sliced (my touch, not in the original recipe)
2 medium yellow bell peppers, cut into strips
1 large red onion, sliced into rings
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh mint
2 tsp. harissa
1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)

VINAIGRETTE
½ cup pitted green olives
2 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. chopped parsley
1 Tbs. chopped shallot
½ tsp. honey
½ tsp. lemon zest

COUSCOUS
2 cups plus 2 Tbs. low-sodium vegetable broth
1 tsp. tabil spice blend (recipe, p. 44)
2 cups couscous
½ cup coarsely chopped roasted pistachios

1 | To make Vegetables: Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss zucchini, bell peppers, onion, mushrooms and oil in large bowl. Transfer to baking sheet, spread in single layer, and roast 20 to 25 minutes, or until vegetables are browned and tender, turning occasionally. Transfer to bowl, and toss with vinegar, mint, harissa, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

2 | Meanwhile, to make Vinaigrette: Place all ingredients in blender or food processor; blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

3 | To make Couscous: Bring broth and tabil to a boil in large saucepan. Stir in couscous, cover, and remove from heat. Let stand 5 to 8 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Fluff with fork, and fold in pistachios. Serve Vegetables over Couscous, with Vinaigrette on the side.

PER SERVING (1 CUP VEGETABLES, 2.3 CUP COUSCOUS, AND 2 TBS. VINAIGRETTE) 441 cal; 12 g prot; 17 g total fat (2 g sat fat); 63 g carb; 0 mg chol; 241 mg sod; 7 g fiber; 8 g sugars

Carrot Dip with Crushed Walnuts and Olives

Makes about 2 cups | 30 minutes or fewer

Laced with harissa, a Tunisian chile sauce, this dip offers a spicy, low-fat alternative to hummus. Serve it with pita wedges or pita chips. Leftover dip makes a great sandwich spread or pasta sauce.

1½ lb. carrots, peeled and cut into ½ -inch-thick rounds (4 cups)
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tsp. whole coriander seeds
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 Tbs. harissa
3 Tbs. chopped toasted walnuts
¼ cup oil-cured black olives
3 tbs sesame seeds (this is my touch!!, not in the original recipe)

1 | Place carrots and garlic in large pot, and add enough salted water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low, and partially cover. Cook 15 to 20 minutes, or until carrots are tender. Drain, and place in bowl of food processor.

2 | Toast coriander in small skillet over medium heat 3 minutes, or until fragrant. Grind toasted coriander in coffee or spice grinder, or crush with mortar and pestle, and add to carrots.

3 | Add oil, lemon juice, and harissa. Pulse until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Spoon into shallow bowl, and garnish with walnuts, sesame seeds and olives.

PER ¼ -CUP SERVING 99 cal; 1 g prot; 7 g total fat (<1 g sat fat); 10 g carb; 0 mg chol; 132 mg sod; 3 g fiber; 4 g sugars

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2 thoughts on “Mediterranean Dinner – Roasted Vegetables with Green Olive Vinaigrette and Pistachio Couscous & Carrot Dip with Crushed Walnuts and Olives

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