Try This Vegetarian Zucchini-Corn Salad with Couscous
This healthy zucchini recipe is a delicious, easy way to use up summer produce. It's great by itself, or add some grilled chicken for a protein boost.
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In her cookbook Simple Green Suppers, Susie Middleton offers several healthy, one-dish vegetarian meals–most of which can be prepared in an hour or less. This healthy zucchini recipe includes corn, so this salad utilizes two abundant summer veggies.
The fresh corn and zucchini sauté get 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 is speckled with fresh herbs and brightened with citrus juice. It can also take on a bit of salty cheese (finely grated Parmesan or crumbled feta) if you like, or you could serve it scattered over lettuce. And it makes a great taco filling, too. For a vegan version, simply substitute olive oil for the butter; for more protein, it pairs great with simple grilled chicken.
Zucchini-Corn Salad with Couscous
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
1 cup finely diced yellow onion, divided
1 cup uncooked pearl couscous
1½ 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 tablespoon butter over medium-low heat. Add ¼ cup onion and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions have softened and are beginning to brown, about 4 to 6 minutes.
- Add the couscous and ½ teaspoon salt. Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until much of the couscous has taken on some browning, 3 to 5 minutes. Add ½ teaspoon of the ground coriander and stir.
- Add 1¼ 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, 9 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 tablespoon butter and olive oil over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the remaining ¾ cup onion and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened and just starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high, and add zucchini and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until the zucchini is somewhat shrunken and browned on some sides, about five to seven minutes. Add corn kernels and another ¼ teaspoon salt.
- Cook, stirring frequently, until the corn is glistening, bright and slightly shrunken, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and remaining 1 teaspoon 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.