Beautiful Bounty

Based on the heat and the seemingly endless days, you’d never know that summer is drawing to a close. But before you can say the word “gobble,” you’re basting the Thanksgiving turkey and soon thereafter icing gingerbread. Time flies! So take advantage of these last few lazy days by enjoying the best of what the season has to offer. Create mouthwatering meals from the freshest produce in town, found at local roadside stands and farmers markets. You’ll support good health and our local farmers all while creating a light yet hearty meal that is sure to become a seasonal favorite.  Favor more omnivorous fare? This dish is delightful when accompanied by roasted chicken or lamb, grilled pork or steak or any other smoked meats.
Toasted Israeli Couscous with Vegetables and Lemon-Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/2 pound Israeli couscous
6 cups broth, stock or water
1 tablespoon salt (if using plain water)
12 spears asparagus, grilled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 zucchini, halved, grilled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 yellow squash, halved, grilled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large red peppers, grilled, peeled and diced into bite-size
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Lemon-Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Heat a large sauté pan on the grates of the grill over medium heat. Add couscous, and toast until lightly golden-brown. Bring 6 cups of broth, stock or water to a boil over high heat. (If using plain water, add 1 tablespoon salt.) Add toasted couscous, and cook until al dente. Drain well, and place in a large bowl. Add grilled vegetables, olives, basil and vinaigrette, and toss until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving, or cover and refrigerate.

Lemon-Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 small shallot, minced
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Whisk shallot, juice, zest, vinegars, salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in oil until emulsified.

Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay.

Where Y’at?
Fresh fruits and veggies are abundant at these local markets.

Covington Farmers Market• Covington City Hall, 609 N. Columbia St.
• Covington Trailhead, 419 N. New Hampshire

Crescent City Farmers Market• Uptown, River Road at Uptown Square
• Downtown, corner of Magazine and Girod streets

Mid-City Green Market• American Can Co., 3700 Orleans Ave.

Upper Ninth Ward Farmers Market• Holy Angels Parking Lot, 3500 St. Claude Ave. F

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