Do you Couscous?
Couscous is one of my favorite pastas, and I love the way it takes up flavor! This Mediterranean Couscous salad is packed full of flavor and delicious morsels of flavor, so I make it quite often. For this recipe, I add in cranberries, cucumbers, walnuts, peppers and cilantro, but the beauty is it is infinitely customizable. Ok, so not 100% Mediterranean. But it’s delicious!
This salad can be served either cold or “just made” warm. I actually prefer it made ahead of time and refrigerated, which allows the flavors to meld. I’m always trying to make dinner a bit easier to accomplish, so getting a component done ahead of time is always appreciated.
Types of Couscous
I usually prefer the larger Israeli or Pearl type couscous. For me, it just seems to have a nicer texture. However, to each their own, so feel free to use whichever type you would like!
I’m a big believer in making your own dressings, especially vinaigrettes. This one is so easy, that you’ll learn that there’s no reason to buy the store-bought ones again! However, if you’re in a rush, just substitute in an Italian dressing and you’ll be good to go.
Anyway, here’s the recipe! Enjoy!
For the Dressing
- 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 tbs champagne vinegar
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 TBS honey
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
- 1/4 tsp black pepper or to taste
- 1 tsp fresh basil optional
For the Salad
- 1.5 cups Israeli Couscous
- 1.5 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 2 TBS onion, diced
- 1 TBS minced garlic
- 1/2 TBS butter (Banner Butter Roasted Garlic)
- 1.5 cups chopped cucumber seedless preferred
- 1 cup toasted walnut pieces
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/2 red bell pepper diced
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 2 TBS chopped green onions
- Whisk all vinaigrette ingredients together EXCEPT olive oil. While whisking briskly, slowly drizzle in olive oil. Set aside
- In a small stockpot over medium heat, melt butter then sautée onions and garlic until fragrant. Add in couscous and cook until couscous starts to brown, about a minute.
- Add in chicken stock, then cover and reduce heat slightly. Cook for 10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Test couscous to ensure properly cooked. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool.
- Drizzle in vinaigrette, then toss in cucumber, walnuts, cranberries, red bell peppers and cilantro. May be served immediately or refrigerated for later service.