Thursday, August 12, 2010

Recipe: Summer Couscous Salad

This is a great summer dish: light, refreshing, super healthy, filling and requires very little stove time.

Just a warning though, the measurements may be slightly off due to my being Italian-American, but as long as the proportions look and taste right, that's really what matters.

This recipe makes like, 8 servings... ish. Let's just say a really big bowl.

for the couscous:
2 cups couscous
1 - 2 cups of vegetable stock, depending on preference and couscous directions

for the salad:
2 braeburn apples, small dice
3 green onions, thinly silced, white and light green parts only
1 carrot, small dice
1 green pepper, small dice
1 cup-ish of dried cranberries
5 or 6 stalks of fennel, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, small dice
1/2 yellow onion, small dice
a few tablespoons of rice vinegar (white vinegar is fine too)
try and cut all the vegetables in about the same size pieces, about the size of the cranberries.

for the dressing:
(this is where that Italian thing comes into play...)
hrm... about 3/4 cup (?) quality extra virgin olive oil- you want the really good stuff!
the juice of 1 - 2 lemons
cumin powder to taste
tumeric powder to taste
kosher salt to taste
pepper to taste

Cook couscous as directed. Use either entirely vegetable stock, or cut with water, your choice. The more stock you use, the better the flavor. Add some kosher salt and pepper to taste. Once done cooking, transfer to bowl and put in fridge to cool. Stir every once in a while to aid cooling.

While couscous is cooking, prepare vegetables. One note: as soon as the apples are cut, toss them with the vinegar – just enough to coat them – to prevent them from browning. Combine all the vegetables in a bowl big enough to add all the couscous later. Place in fridge while couscous is cooling.

Once couscous is thoroughly cooled, combine with vegetables in vegetable bowl.

Whisk the olive oil and the juice of one lemon together in a small bowl. Add enough cumin and tumeric so that you can definitely taste it and it's all balanced, but not so much that it overpowers the dressing. Think light, tangy and refreshing, not curry. Start with a small amount, and add more as you taste and whisk. Do the same with the lemon juice. Finish with some kosher salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss, a little at a time. Add only enough to thoroughly coat the salad, you don't want an oily salad. Finish with a little more kosher salt and pepper if it needs it.

Great alone or as a side for grilled chicken or tofu! Yum!


  1. oooh!!! are you bringing that on the plane?

    I made barley potato salad.

  2. I'm seeing that "Pie" is a perfect name for you...