Tobins' Tastes: Couscous Summer Salad

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Couscous Summer Salad

With the temperatures climbing closer and closer towards the 90's these days, Justin and I have been looking for some light and easy dinner ideas. I have also been trying to "get out of my comfort zone" and try new ingredients. Up until this, I had never made anything with couscous so I am pretty proud of myself for how this dish turned out.

I first saw this Food Network recipe a'la Giada De Laurentis on Pinterest and it was one of those things where I thought to myself how good and refreshing it was but figured it would be something that I never got around to making. But Thursday night I was scrambling to find something to make for dinner (due to the fact that I have been slacking on meal planning lately) and I was looking at my "Things To Make For Dinner Eventually..." pin board and realized that I had everything on hand to make this dish.

We paired it with a spinach salad (our go to summer salad) and it made for a perfect meal. I love how the crasins and chunks of apple add a freshness and a sweetness to the couscous. The apple cider vinaigrette was just zesty enough and smelled divine. This would also be a great dish to bring to a picnic or summer bbq as it would be an easy side dish to lighten up a heavy meal.

I couldn't believe how easy it was to make and it made a huge amount too. We found that it tastes best if you let it cool completely and chill in the fridge for a few hours before serving. In Justin's opinion, it was even better as leftovers the next few days.

Couscous Summer Salad adapted from The Food Network
  • 2 cups uncooked couscous (I just used the box of Far East brand couscous)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (for cooking the couscous)
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • 1 medium green apple diced
  • 1 cup of crasins
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar 
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (for the vinaigrette)
 1.) Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan, add uncooked couscous and cook, stirring occasionally until the couscous starts to brown. This took about 5 minutes for me.

2.) Add the chicken broth, bring to a boil and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes or until almost all of the liquid is cooked down.

I totally panicked when I saw how much liquid there was but it all evaporated with no problem.
3.) Transfer cooked couscous to a large bowl and stir in the apples, crasins, thyme, and almonds. Mix well.

Cooked couscous before the mix ins.
5.) In a small bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, honey, salt, and pepper. Pour it over the couscous mixture and stir to evenly coat the whole bowl.

6.) Cool completely and chill for a few hours before serving. Store leftovers in the fridge in an air tight container.

Make sure you stop by this week's Mealtime Monday and link up any amazing recipes you have been working on lately.

***Depending on the day this post may be linked up to any of these fabulous linky parties.***
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