Remember my Cauliflower Mousse? If you don’t, stop reading, go make it, and come back to this article once you can appreciate just how good it is! I have been absolutely OBSESSED with eating cauliflower that way, and likewise using it to make Vegetable Confetti Cous Cous. I made this for two of my clients and my family this weekend, because I just. can’t. get. enough.
The base is made from pearl cous cous, which can be 3-6 times the size of the regular version, and is amazingly tender like pasta. I love how its round chewiness contrasts perfectly with the crisp squares of the vegetables. For the base, you’ll stir in the cauliflower mousse to the cous cous, making it creamy and seemingly decadent, however all the richness is coming from vegetables. Then, top it off with the confetti vegetables, leaving the dish herby and fresh. The final touch of olive oil and sea salt tie all the flavors together, making this an instant classic!
Vegetable Confetti Cous Cous is another recipe that was inspired from when my Executive Chef cousin came to visit from California. As I watched him cook (and licked the bowl of extra Cauliflower Mousse clean) I saw him whip up this dish, that he served under lamb chops. Obviously, since I’m vegan, I just ate this plain- but it’s so full of flavor I wasn’t missing a thing! Just as with the mousse, I had to play with recreating this just from my memory of the taste, and I’m proud to say I nailed it! It’s absolutely going to be one of my go-to recipes from now on.
When Dustin made his version of Vegetable Confetti Cous Cous, he poured what seemed to be more than a cup of olive oil over the veggies to marinate them after they were sautéed (you know-restaurants use copious amounts of fat, sugar and salt) so I lightened it up by sautéing it in a meer tablespoon, allowing me to add the fat at the end when more of the flavor would be absorbed instead of cooked off. I only used two tablespoons to steep the vegetables in, but feel free to add more if you’d like. Another way I sort of lighten this, is sometimes I toss it over (or with) a bit of arugula, making it a small salad and adding in some peppery-ness.
I hope you enjoy this party-in-your-mouth as much as I do, can’t wait to hear what you think!
P.S. If you haven’t noticed by my posts lately, I’m kind of obsessed with this blue plate. It’s handmade by my mom, Marsha Karagheusian, and I want her to make me 100 of them!
- Yield: 4-5 servings
Vegetable Confetti Cous Cous
Enjoy this chewy bite sized pasta made incredibly creamy by the Cauliflower Mousse, and topped off with crunchy, garlic and herb vegetables. The hint of curry in the cous cous gives just the right amount of sweet, earthy flavor to contrast with the fresh basil and rich, fruity olive oil. This is one of my new favorite dinners!
- 1 1/2- 2 cups Cauliflower Mousse
- 1 3/4 cup Israeli or Pearl Cous Cous
- 3T olive oil - separated
- 2 medium zucchini - small dice
- 1 large red bell pepper - small dice
- 1 large yellow bell pepper - small dice
- 3 small cloves garlic - minced
- 1/4 cup fresh basil - chopped
- 1 tsp sea salt - divided
- Prepare the cauliflower mousse (can be done earlier in the day, or perhaps even the night before).
- Cook the cous cous according to package instructions for the minimum cooking time. (Typically 6-7 minutes- you want it to be firm or "al dente", since you may heat it up again before eating, and want to avoid it getting mushy). Stir the mousse and cous cous together, adding enough so the pasta is a little saucy. Stir in 1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste.
- While the cous cous is cooking, start chopping the vegetables into ~1/4 inch dice. Heat a large skillet with 1T of olive oil, add the zucchini and peppers, cooking until they just start to soften. Add the minced garlic and chopped basil, sautéing one more minute, just until fragrant. Remove from heat by transferring to a bowl, and stir in the remaining 2T of olive oil and 1/2 tsp sea salt, adjusting both to taste. Spoon the vegetable confetti over the creamy cous cous, and serve warm. Bon Appetite!