End-of-summer stew with couscous

By J. Scott Wilson

Makes 6 cups - 6 servings

Here’s an uncomplicated recipe for prolific gardeners, or their friends, who need to use the summer bounty. Feel free to add or substitute other vegetables, green beans, corn, peas, or whatever is in the overflowing supply. And, so the tender vegetables won't be overcooked, it's best to make this dish just before serving.

For the couscous
1 1/2cups vegetable stock (prepare using stock cubes, concentrate, or powder)
1 1/2 cups couscous

For the stew
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 Vidalia or other sweet onion, coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
2 cups vegetable stock (prepare using stock cubes, concentrate, or powder)
2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 medium yellow squash, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 large tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Freshly grated Romano cheese for garnish

To prepare the couscous, pour 1 1/2 cups of the vegetable stock into a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the couscous; cover the pan and remove it from the heat. Let stand for about 5 minutes or until the liquid is completely absorbed.

To make the stew, heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 cups stock; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat; stir in the zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, garlic, and oregano. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender but not mushy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the basil and season to taste.

Fluff the couscous with a fork. Stir in the parsley and olive oil; season to taste.

To serve, spread couscous in the bottom of shallow soup plates, top with the stew, and sprinkle with cheese.

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