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Recipe: Corn, Zucchini And Pearl Couscous

Susie Middleton /

In her new cookbook Simple Green Suppers, Susie Middleton offers several healthy, one-dish vegetarian meals–most of which can be prepared in an hour or less.

A fresh corn and zucchini sauté gets a boost from easy-to-cook pearl couscous—that lovely little pasta also known as Israeli couscous. (Look for Bob’s Red Mill brand.) Delicious hot, warm or at room temperature, this versatile summer supper speckled with fresh herbs and brightened with citrus juice can also take on a bit of salty cheese (finely grated Parmesan or crumbled feta) if you like, or you could also serve it scattered over lettuce. (It makes a great taco filling, too.) For a vegan version, simply substitute olive oil for the butter.

Related: 4 Tips For Quick, Great Veggie Dinners

Corn Zucchini And Pearl Couscous With Coriander And Summer Herbs

Serves 3


  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 cup finely diced yellow onion, divided Kosher salt
  • 1 cup uncooked pearl couscous
  • 1-1/2 tsp. ground coriander, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cups finely diced zucchini or summer squash
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 4 ears)
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh garlic
  • 2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint, cilantro, basil or any combination of these


In a medium saucepan with a lid, melt 1 Tbsp. butter over medium-low heat. Add 1/4 cup onion and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions have softened and are beginning to brown, four to six minutes. Add the couscous and 1/2 tsp. salt. Raise the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until much of the couscous has taken on some browning, three to five minutes. Add 1/2 tsp. of the ground coriander and stir. Add 1-1/4 cups of water to the pan, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the water has been absorbed and the couscous is tender, nine to 12 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

Fluff the couscous with a fork, then cover to keep it warm in the pan. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp. butter and olive oil over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the remaining 3/4 cup onion and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened and just starting to brown, five to seven minutes. Raise the heat to medium-high, and add zucchini and 1/4  tsp. salt. Cook, stirring, until the zucchini is somewhat shrunken and browned on some sides, about five to seven minutes. Add corn kernels and another 1/4  tsp. salt.

Cook, stirring frequently, until the corn is glistening, bright and slightly shrunken, three to five minutes. Add garlic and remaining 1 tsp. coriander, and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan, until fragrant and well mixed, about one minute. Remove the skillet from the heat and let sit for a couple of minutes. Sprinkle lemon juice over the sauté and stir and scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Add cooked couscous to the skillet, stir and season with black pepper to taste. Stir in most of the fresh herbs and taste for seasoning. Add more salt, pepper or citrus juice to taste. Serve garnished with the remaining herbs.


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