Salad, salad, salad. Salad seems to be all that is on my mind lately. It’s finally warm outside. Everything is finally blooming. Gardens have been planted. Community supported agriculture programs are in full swing. Vegetables are plentiful and flavorful. This Mediterranean Couscous Salad is a great way to use up all of these beautiful farmer’s market finds.
I first met this Mediterranean Couscous Salad at a baby shower thrown for another colleague of mine. A few of us agreed to do the food for the party and decided on a mediterranean theme-complete with a spice rubbed pork tenderloin, grilled asparagus, hummus and pita bread. My friend brought this amazing salad and I was blown away by the colors and flavors found in this dish. It became my new potluck favorite. And the best part? It holds up great in the refrigerator, tastes better when made a day ahead and makes leftovers for days!
Don’t be afraid of the long list of the ingredients. They are easy to find, easy to work with and so flavorful. This Mediterranean Couscous Salad comes together quickly and is crunchy, sweet, a little spicy, with a hint of curry. Try this one for your lunches this week. You won’t be sorry!
- 1 box plain couscous (I use Near East brand)
- 1 box roasted garlic and olive oil couscous (I use Near East brand)
- 3¼ cups chicken stock or broth
- 1½ Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 roma tomatoes, diced
- 5 green onions, sliced (both green and white portions)
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 orange pepper, diced
- 1 yellow pepper, diced
- 1 cucumber, seeded and diced
- 1 15 ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ⅔ cup golden raisins
- ¼ cup Italian parsley, chopped
- ⅔ cup pine toasted, toasted
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon curry powder
- ¼ teaspoon Tabasco
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- In a medium saucepan, bring chicken broth and 1½ Tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil to a boil.
- Add couscous, stir and cover pan.
- Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
- Fluff couscous with a fork and allow to cool completely.
- In a large bowl, toss tomatoes, green onions, peppers, cucumbers, chickpeas, raisins, and parsely.
- In a jar with a lid combine lemon juice, ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, cumin, curry powder, Tabasco, garlic, salt and pepper.
- Shake jar well to emulsify the dressing.
- Stir cooled couscous into vegetables to form the salad.
- Stir dressing into the salad.
- Just before serving, garnish with toasted pine nuts.
PS: To make this dish vegetarian, just substitute the chicken stock for water! Simple!