A Happy and Sweet New Year to our Jewish friends. L'Shana Tova U'Metuka! See link to Rosh Hashanah menu below.

Couscous Salad with Grilled Portobellos

Foodie Lit

Portobello mushrooms add an elegant and almost steak-like quality to this dish.  Grape tomatoes, olives and pecans complement the couscous.


This is a wonderful start to a meal with company, a delicious side dish or with greens, a classy light meal. If you have a vegan guest, this is the recipe for you.


A beautiful presentation as well as healthy and scrumptious—what more could you ask for?

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“Don’t remember secrets. Don’t tell any secrets.” These words have been drummed into Nicki Reed from her childhood.  Gloria Zachgo, author of Hush Girl, wrote, “Her journey was often painful and terrifying.”


As a retired principal, I encountered abused children. Through fear, threats and pain, they were forbidden to speak. Their abusers had engrained a culture of silence in them. 


This novel is a psychological journey of an abused woman searching for yet fearing to find her childhood reality.

Couscous Salad with Grilled Portobellos

Serves 6

1 (10-ounce) box plain couscous
6 large Portobello mushroom caps

¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 large garlic cloves, minced and divided

Salt, to taste

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

24 grape tomatoes

2/3 cup pitted and drained kalamata or black olives

1 green onion, finely chopped

½ cup finely chopped pecans, toasted

1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves

1 cup baby spinach or other greens of choice

Mint sprigs, optional garnish

  1. Prepare couscous according to package directions.

  2. Wipe mushrooms clean with dampened paper towels. Drizzle with ¼ cup oil, coating both sides, and season with 1 minced garlic clove, salt and pepper.

  3. Transfer to pre-heated grill or frying pan and cook over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Transfer to a plate, reserving juices.

  4. Combine remaining minced garlic and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Stir in remaining ½ cup oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Reserve 2 tablespoons of dressing to pour over greens before serving.

  5. Fluff couscous with a fork, and transfer to a large bowl. Add tomatoes, olives, green onions and pecans.

  6. Arrange greens around rim of plates. Mound couscous mixture in center.

  7. Slice mushrooms diagonally and arrange on top. Pour mushroom juices and reserved dressing over salad and garnish with mint.


Expandthetable suggestions

Make it Raw: Substitute 1 head cauliflower for the couscous. Cut the florets off the cauliflower and place in the food processor. Pulse until cauliflower looks like rice. Slice mushrooms, brush with oil, garlic, salt and pepper. And do not cook mushrooms.
Gluten Free:  Substitute quinoa for couscous.
Allium Free: Substitute ½ fennel bulb, diced, for garlic and onions.

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Eat, Read and Dream, my cookbook with Geri Clouston, inspired by my Foodie Lit columns is now available on Amazon, Book Baby, and Book Depository. Order now!  So excited to share with you!

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