Beef Kebabs with Couscous Salad

  • Active Time 25m
  • Total Time 4h 25m

Serves 4

Here's a recipe with a North African feel; you can almost sense the exotic sights and aromas of the Casbah as you prepare it. Couscous is made from semolina, and the packaged variety that is commonly available is precooked, making it quick and easy to prepare. While this dish may not be traditional fare for Labor Day, it's certainly ideal for a relaxed cookout. Strip steak gives a nice tender kebab, but any tender cut of beef, such as tenderloin tips or top sirloin, may be used. WINE SUGGESTION: A West Coast Pinot Noir is our choice here, or a northern French Burgundy.


  • For Marinade:
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • For Kebabs:
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless strip steaks, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 sweet onions, quartered, then halved crosswise
  • 8 mushrooms
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 zucchini, cut in 3/4-inch slices
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 8 pieces
  • 8 skewers
  • For Salad:
  • 1 1/4 cups whole-wheat couscous
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • 5 dried apricots, diced
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons minced parsley, optional
  • Salt and lemon juice, to taste
  • For the Couscous Dressing:
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted and crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt


FOR MARINADE AND KEBABS: Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the steak and marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Drain the meat, reserving the marinade. Thread the beef, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, sliced zucchini and red bell pepper onto the skewers and lay them in a roasting pan. Pour the marinade over the kebabs and marinate for 1 hour or longer.

FOR SALAD: Meanwhile, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and set aside. Place the couscous in a large mixing bowl; add the boiling water, cover and let sit for 10 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork and let it cool slightly (about 5 minutes). Mix in the onion, scallion, currants, pumpkin seeds, apricots and parsley. Stir in enough dressing to moisten the salad without making it soggy and let it sit for about 1 hour before serving. To serve, fluff again, and season with additional salt and lemon juice to taste.

TO PREPARE KEBABS: Prepare the grill. About 15 minutes before serving, grill the kebabs for about 4 minutes on each side, or to the desired doneness. Serve with the couscous salad.

HELPFUL TIPS: Whole-wheat couscous is available in many health food stores and gourmet market. It has even more flavor and texture than regular couscous, but if it is not available, regular couscous may be substituted. The dressing can be made a day ahead and combined with the couscous just before serving.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Harper Collins. All rights reserved.

RecID 5219

nutrition information per serving

840 calories; 40g total fat; 100mg cholesterol; 1289mg sodium; 67g carbohydrates; 8g fiber; 50g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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