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Each Thursday this summer during kids’ classes, the menu is vegetarian. It’s a healthy note to end each series of classes. And by Thursday, all the students are well versed in slicing and dicing. The past two weeks it was also a nice and colorful note because on Wednesday the theme was ‘breads and sandwiches”.  Talk about a monotone plate – all white, beige, and brown – didn’t turn out to be as eye-appealing as one might wish for. This pretty “confetti” speckled side dish would help brighten up any old dull sandwich plate.

Confetti Couscous

2 baby or Japanese eggplant, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
2 yellow squash, trimmed ad cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into quarters
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups couscous
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

Preheat broiler to high. Line a baking sheet with foil.

Place eggplant, squash, and bell peppers in 1 layer on foil and brush with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

Place under broiler and cook until slightly charred on one side, approximately 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from oven and cool until able to handle.  Chop vegetables and place them in a large bowl.

Bring water and the broth to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Stir in couscous. Reduce heat and simmer for 8 minutes or until couscous is tender.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Add couscous to vegetables in the bowl, toss to combine, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Whisk together vinegar and mustard in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the remaining 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) olive oil.  Drizzle the vinaigrette over the couscous; toss to coat. Stir in basil and serve immediately.

Serves 8

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