Easy Balsamic roasted veggie and couscous salad

Happy New Year friends! After a busy holiday season, I’m looking forward to things slowing down a bit and getting more done in the kitchen.
One of my new year resolutions WAS ;) to get my kitchen in order – and I did it! Gotta love business holidays, with Monday off I devoted my time to completely cleaning and reorganizing my kitchen.
Upon finishing my resolution I was inspired by what was left in my fridge- olives, lentil soup, eggs and thyme – aside from cheese and jarred items.  I thought my fridge was trying to tell me something – in Greek- so I listened – the next day I made this super easy Mediterranean couscous salad, filled with balsamic roasted veggies, salty feta cheese and olives with dried cranberries to add some sweetness.  Check it out!

Balsamic roasted veggies with couscous

1 can of artichoke hearts, quarter artichokes
1 red onion,  large dice – about 2 inches in size – large enough to withstand roasting
1 yellow pepper, cut same size as onion
10 crimini mushrooms, halved
1/2 can garbanzo beans
1-1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
3/4 cup feta cheese, cubed
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup kalamata olives, chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1 cup of couscous
1 1/2 cup water – I added 1 tsp of BTB Not Chicken Broth
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Red pepper flakes(optional)

Preheat your oven to 375F. Get all your veggies together in a large bowl – excluding the olives, cranberries and garlic. Add the leaves from 3-4 sprigs of thyme, about 1 tbsp chopped parsley and add a 1-to-3 ratio of olive oil to balsamic. Salt and pepper to taste – then try one of the marinated veggies to see if you like the flavor. Add more balsamic if you prefer, I probably ended up with close to  2 tbsp of olive oil and 6 tbsp of balsamic.  Remember the veggies are being added to couscous which will make the balsamic flavor less pronounced. Spread the veggies out on a foil lined baking sheet – at this time I also sprinkled with a little red pepper flake. Roast approx. 30-35 minutes – when you have 10 minutes left to go, add garlic to the roasting tray and mix with veggies.
Bring water to a boil and add couscous. Cover and remove from heat, keep covered until vegetables are ready.
Once everything is done, combine the veggies,couscous, olives and  cranberries. Then top with  feta cheese and some additional parsley to garnish.
Couscous is incredibly versatile, you can use whatever veggies and spice you like and if Mediterranean cuisine isn’t your thing, have fun experimenting.


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