Couscous Salad

couscous2 Couscous Salad

Summer has officially begun on the West Coast of Canada! Hoorah!

To celebrate, I spent the day at the beach with my adorable furry bottomed friend. I put in some time working on my freckles, examining seashells, doing some neurons-not-required reading, and savouring the first of the local cherries. And despite all of that exhausting labour, I found time to cook! It was the perfect day.

beach Couscous Salad oliver Couscous Salad

This couscous salad is perfect summer food; delicious, light, cool, and full of bright flavours like herbs, lemon, and fresh garlic. It is perfect picnic food. Perfect potluck food. Perfect side dish to grilled chicken or steak. It is a warm weather staple in my kitchen.

Adarsh insists that I make sure everyone knows this couscous salad is his favourite food. I’m skeptical, because he tosses out words like “favourite”, and “best ever”, and “we should eat this every day” so often (about three times a day, to be specific, and generally coinciding with meals) that these exuberant exclamations kinda lose their substance. However, today when I made this for lunch, his enthusiasm convinced me that maybe he really does like it that much. He asked me to make it for his birthday. I personally thought he’d shoot a bit higher… but hey, I’m not gonna argue.

couscous1 Couscous Salad

My favourite thing about summer salads is their versatility. The “add-ins” I mentioned are just a smattering of things I had on hand today. This is a great opportunity to experiment! It would be delicious with dried cranberries instead of raisins, toasted almonds instead of walnuts, and/or some diced celery. Also, you can use more or less of the herbs – or switch them up. Sometimes I leave out the mint if I don’t have it on hand.

Did you know that couscous is just a teeny, tiny pasta?

Couscous Salad

For couscous:

  • 1 1/4 cup couscous
  • 1 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup minced mint
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • Add-ins:

  • 1 apple, cored and diced (I leave the peel on)
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1 tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • For Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

1. Pour the boiling water over the dry couscous, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork, and spread out over a baking sheet to cool faster.

2. Once couscous is cool, toss in a large bowl with mint, parsley, green onions, and desired add-ins.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the dressing. Pour over couscous salad and toss thoroughly to combine. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

 

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11 Comments

  1. Pallian

    July 7, 2010 6:32 am - Reply

    Just looking at it makes me want to go to the fridge and eat the rest right now.

  2. Pallian

    July 6, 2010 10:32 pm - Reply

    Just looking at it makes me want to go to the fridge and eat the rest right now.

  3. Le Bibi

    July 7, 2010 7:57 am - Reply

    This looks delicious! I’m with Adarsh on this one, the perfect birthday treat :)

  4. Le Bibi

    July 6, 2010 11:57 pm - Reply

    This looks delicious! I’m with Adarsh on this one, the perfect birthday treat :)

  5. Michelle

    July 12, 2010 5:22 am - Reply

    This looks so delicious! I will definitely be trying it soon!

  6. Michelle

    July 11, 2010 9:22 pm - Reply

    This looks so delicious! I will definitely be trying it soon!

  7. foodess

    August 9, 2010 5:28 am - Reply

    Thanks guys!

    Michelle – try it and let me know what you think!

  8. foodess

    August 8, 2010 9:28 pm - Reply

    Thanks guys!

    Michelle – try it and let me know what you think!

  9. Lynne Polischuik

    September 20, 2012 12:43 am - Reply

    Made this tonight and it really is the perfect salad. Love the late summer combo of apple, walnuts, raisins, tomato and fresh herbs. It’s light yet substantial, and the dressing is perfect. Several of your recipes have become ‘go to’ ones for me and I think this just became another one :)

    • foodess

      September 20, 2012 7:34 am - Reply

      Thanks, Lynne! :-) Great to hear!