summer! it's here! finally! [I hope] and what does summertime bring? BBQs, outdoor eating, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, the list goes on and on. these are all the events where you want to add a light, healthy and delicious dish to the menu and have a go-to [easy] item to bring to the party.
this dish counts as both a carb and a salad plus it is healthy and delicious. the couscous is toasted with some fresh garlic and then cooked down in vegetable broth for a little extra flavor. once cooled, I toss the couscous in fresh dill and a lemon-honey-dijon vinaigrette and then stir in cucumber, feta, red onion and arugula.
I love Israeli couscous [AKA pearl couscous] - it is little toasted pasta balls, similar in size to rice. it can be found in the International aisle, the rice/grain aisle or in the bulk section [usually near the produce]. however, you could also use regular couscous if you wanted to.
SUMMERTIME COUSCOUS SALAD
with Cucumber, Herbs, Lemon & Feta
Yields: 6 servings Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes
2 tsp. olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 cups dry Israeli couscous
1 cups vegetable broth
1 cup water
¼ cup fresh dill, chopped
3 oz. feta, crumbled
3 Persian cucumbers, diced
½ red onion, thinly sliced
2 handfuls arugula
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. honey or pure maple syrup
2 tsp. lemon zest
½ tsp. kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
Heat 2 tsp. of olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minutes.
Add the dried couscous and cook, while stirring, for another minute.
Pour the vegetable broth and water into the pot, place the lid on and reduce the heat to medium-low.
Cook for 10 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed and the couscous is cooked through yet still firm.
Use a fork to separate the couscous and transfer into a large bowl to cool.
*it’s OK if it is a bit sticky, it will all separate when tossed in the vinaigrette!
While the couscous is cooling, add the thinly sliced red onion to a small bowl of ice water and make the vinaigrette.
-- In a small bowl, whisk together all of the vinaigrette ingredients and set aside.
Add the dill, parsley, cucumber and drained red onion to the couscous.
Pour the vinaigrette over everything and toss until everything is fully coated.
Toss in the feta and arugula.
Season with salt and pepper, as needed and serve cold!
-- You can also serve at room temperature too – I just prefer it cold.