I don’t know why I ever had doubts about the flavors in this dish, but it ended up being delicious beyond imagining. It’s not often that I use sultanas/golden raisins in anything I cook, but they added the perfect balance to this light, bright medley of flavors. This might replace my mother’s classic pasta salad as my favorite side dish to bring to any summer event. Fantastic!
Summer Squash Couscous with Sultanas, Pistachios and Mint
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Juice of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon honey
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/4 cup veggie stock
1 cup couscous
1/2 cup diced yellow squash
1/2 cup diced zucchini
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1/2 cup sultanas/golden raisins
1/4 cup chopped pistachios
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl, whisk the lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, and 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add the garlic cloves and let them steep for about 30 minutes.
Next, bring the veggie stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in the couscous, cover, and turn off the heat; allow the couscous to sit for about 5 minutes, or until it absorbs all the liquid. Toss the couscous with a fork so the grains don’t start clumping together, pour into a large mixing bowl, and set aside.
In a skillet over medium high heat, add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Then, add the chopped squash and zucchini, shallot, sultanas, pistachios and a pinch or two of salt. Only cook for about a minute or two — you still want the squash and zucchini to be al dente. This just ensures they aren’t too al dente, and all the flavors can marry before they hit the couscous. Set aside until everything reaches room temperature.
Once the veggies have reached room temperature, add them to the bowl with the couscous and combine. Then, remove and discard the cloves of garlic from the dressing, and toss it with the couscous (add the dressing gradually, as you may not need it all). Fold in the mint, season with additional salt and pepper if necessary and serve at room temperature.