Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

Warm Couscous & Grilled Zucchini Salad

Scott Phillips

Servings: four as a side dish.


  • 3 small or 2 medium zucchini (about 1 lb. )
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. packed light brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Pinch cayenne
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large red onion, sliced into 1/3-inch-thick rounds
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 7-1/2 oz. couscous (1-1/4 cups)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbs. finely grated orange zest
  • 2 Tbs. fresh orange juice; more to taste

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on four servings
  • Calories (kcal) : 380
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 130
  • Fat (g): 15
  • Saturated Fat (g): 2
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 11
  • Cholesterol (mg): 0
  • Sodium (mg): 740
  • Carbohydrates (g): 52
  • Fiber (g): 5
  • Protein (g): 9


  • Wash the zucchini well to remove any grit and dry them with paper towels. Trim off the ends and quarter the zucchini lengthwise. Slice off the top 1/4 to 1/2 inch of the soft seed core by running a sharp knife down the length of each quarter; it’s all right if some of the seeds remain. Arrange the zucchini, cut side up, on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with kosher salt (about 1/2 tsp.) and set aside for 10 minutes. Blot the quarters dry with the paper towels.
  • Heat a gas grill to medium high or prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire. In a small bowl, mix the cumin, brown sugar, cinnamon, cayenne, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. In a medium bowl, gently toss the zucchini quarters with 1 Tbs. olive oil and the spice mix. Let sit for 10 minutes. Thread each onion slice onto two thin skewers (to hold the concentric rings together), brush both sides with 1 Tbs. of the olive oil, and sprinkle with a little salt.
  • Meanwhile, bring 1-1/2 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir in the couscous, 2 Tbs. of the olive oil, and 3/4 tsp. salt. Cover, remove from the heat, and set aside.
  • Set the zucchini cut side down on the grill and cook (if using a gas grill, keep the lid closed), flipping occasionally, until it’s browned and softened but not mushy, 6 to 8 minutes. Return the zucchini to its original bowl and toss to pick up any spices clinging to it. Reduce the heat to medium (if using a charcoal grill, put on the lid and partially close air vents). Grill the onions until soft and slightly charred, 8 to 10 minutes. Coarsely chop the zucchini and onions and stir them into the couscous, along with the cilantro, orange zest, and orange juice. Taste for salt and pepper; add a little more orange juice to taste. Serve immediately.

Make a meal of this salad by serving it with grilled shrimp skewers.


Rate or Review

Reviews (11 reviews)

  • joannalynn60 | 08/02/2013

    Made as is (except roasted the veggies instead of grilling them) and it was fabulous. I used tri-color couscous, so the presentation was beautiful. A possible go to for our next outing.

  • Meri1983 | 07/04/2013

    I followed this recipe exactly for the 4th of July BBQ. It was delicious. All the ingredients together give it great flavor. The red onions and zucchini were crisp, not mushy. It takes a little bit of time to prepare but it was worth it. I made the spice mixture and prepared the cilantro and orange zest and juice before hand so I could just toss it in. I paired it with some steaks. My husband loved it. I will definitely be making this again!

Show More

Rate this Recipe

Write a Review


View All


Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks

We hope you’ve enjoyed your free articles. To keep reading, subscribe today.

Get the print magazine, 25 years of back issues online, over 7,000 recipes, and more.