July 18, 2011

Summer Squash Couscous and Tzatziki

This was a great meal to use up a bunch of CSA veggies. It was also a perfect light, summertime dinner.

My friend Jo had emailed me her recipe for tzatziki and suggested I make some to use up my CSA cucumbers; I couldn't wait to try it. Unfortunately, I did not pay attention to her recipe or another one that I had that said to use whole or 2% Greek yogurt. I used non-fat, which I think is why mine turned out the consistency of a watered down smoothie. It still tasted good and coated the couscous and veggies, but it would have been nice if it was a little thicker. Jo's recipe is below with some comments from me.

For the couscous, I was inspired by a simple recipe from the New York Times from 1989! That seems like so long ago! I used pearl (Israeli) couscous because I like that there is just more to it than regular couscous.

Jo's Tzatziki Sauce
Servings: 6; Serving Size: ¼ cup

18 ounces (1 large container) 2% plain Greek Yogurt (I could only find a 16oz container, so that is what I used)
2 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded, diced (you only need to cut the cucumber into large chunks, let the food processor do the work for you)
2 tablespoons olive oil (I didn't add any olive oil because mine was already too thin)
1.5 ounces fresh lemon juice (I used a whole lemon, not sure how many ounces that is)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper (pepper is not really my friend, so I only did a grind or two)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (I love dill, so I added slightly more)
3 garlic cloves, peeled (next time I would try 2 garlic cloves; I thought 3 was too strong, especially after it sits for a day or two)
In a food processor or blender, combine the yogurt, cucumber, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, dill, and garlic. Process until well combined. Transfer to a separate dish, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. Garnish with sliced, raw cucumber.
Pearl Couscous with Summer Squash
Adapted from the NY Times
Serves 4


1 cup uncooked pearl couscous
1 1/4 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, diced (I used a red onion because that is what my CSA gave me, you could obviously use a yellow onion)
1 garlic clove, minced
2 small yellow summer squash, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 small pattypan squash, diced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
large handful of flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped

1. In a small saucepan, bring the broth to a boil, add the couscous, cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook until all the liquid has been absorbed and the couscous is tender. (My couscous package said 8-10 minutes, but mine was done at about 6 minutes. You have to watch it!) Stir to fluff and remove from the heat (keep the cover on it to keep it warm).

2. Meanwhile, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and stir to coat. Add the squash and cook, stirring frequently, until cooked and soft-ish, but it still has some integrity. (You want to chew the squash, not gum them!) This will take 8-10 minutes, depending on how large your dice. Taste for seasoning.

3. Add the couscous to the veggies and stir to combine. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley. Serve with the chilled tzatziki.


  1. I was lucky enough to get to sample this dish. It was delicious and light -- the perfect summer meal.

  2. I made this last night and it was such a nice fresh dinner, I have so much of the tzatziki sauce left over I will be eating it for days, yum!!