Vegetable Casserole with Couscous Crust

Created by Chef Max Shapiro

I have been making this recipe for the last ten plus years. I first made this for the Chef benefit in 2000 for the Slow Food Movement at Kennedy Manor in Madison. (Feel free to change the vegetables and herbs with the seasons).


  • 11/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup couscous or yellow cornmeal
  • 1 pound chopped and seeded tomatoes with juice
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin
  • 4 medium mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1 small red sweet pepper, cored, seeded and sliced into 1/4 inch wide strips
  • 1 medium yellow squash, sliced thin, about ½ a pound
  • 2 medium carrots peeled and sliced thin
  • ½ cup cooked and drained chick peas
  • 1 ½ tsp dried basil, crumbled, or fresh
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh cracked pepper
  • salt to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sized heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, bring chicken broth to a boil. Remove the saucepan from heat, add couscous and stir constantly with a fork until the mixture is thick. About 5 minutes.
  2. Grease a round 2-quart casserole dish and spoon the couscous into it. Using a large spoon or wet hands, push and flatten the couscous up the side of the dish to within a ½ inch from the rim. Set aside.
  3. In a medium size saucepan over low heat simmer tomatoes for about 6 minutes. Add onion, mushrooms, red pepper, yellow squash, carrot, basil, and pepper; stir and cover. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender but still crisp.
  4. Spoon the vegetables into the casserole , cover with tin foil, bake for 1 hour. Serve directly from the dish, or cool for 15 minutes and gently loosen the crust with a thin metal spatula, and invert onto a serving platter.