Sunday, February 16, 2020

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

Meet my favorite couscous salad, featuring pearled couscous and colorful summertime produce. This Mediterranean-style salad is light, refreshing, and overflowing with colorful rounds of thinly sliced raw zucchini and yellow squash. That’s right, raw squash! It’s so good.

This salad is simply the type of meal I’m craving during this hot summer weather, and it might be perfect for your Fourth of July parties. 

Mediterranean Couscous Salad
Mediterranean Couscous Salad

Raw squash is sort of tasty, totally underutilized, and a pleasant alternative to cucumber. The trick for this recipe is to slice the squash into very thin rounds, so it offers a young , lightly crisp texture.

This couscous salad with raw squash and bold Mediterranean flavors may be a simple summer entremots. Close up a bowlful for a weekday lunch or serve with a glass of chilled Pinot Grigio or Sauvignan Blanc for dinner.

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

INGREDIENTS :
  • 1 ⅓ cup whole wheat Israeli couscous (or any other small pasta shape, you’ll need about 3 cups cooked)
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste (from 1 to 2 lemons)
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained, or 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (½ cup)
  • ⅓ cup pitted and thinly sliced Kalamata olives
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced into super thin rounds
  • 1 small yellow squash, sliced into super thin rounds
  • ⅓ cup (⅔ ounce) chopped fresh basil or flat-leaf parsley
INSTRUCTIONS :
  1. Cook the couscous until al dente, according to package directions. Drain off any excess water.
  2. Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts: In a large skillet over medium-low heat, warm the pine nuts until they’re turning lightly golden on the sides and fragrant (be careful not to let them burn). Transfer them to a bowl to cool.
  3. In a large serving bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, shallot, garlic, salt and several twists of black pepper until combined.
  4. Add the couscous to the bowl and toss to coat with the dressing. Top the couscous with the toasted pine nuts, chickpeas, tomatoes, feta, olives, zucchini and squash, and basil. Stir to combine.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and add an extra tablespoon or two of lemon juice if it needs more brightness. For the best flavor, refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. This salad will keep well, covered and refrigerated, for up to 4 days.

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