Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Greek Couscous Salad

This was my favorite dish served at Pearce's first birthday party! I LOVE anything with a vinaigrette, and I'm a pretty big fan of Greek food in general.

Since the party was at lunch time (12-2p), I wanted to serve a chicken salad sandwich and two different kinds of salads. Naturally I thought one of the salads should be a pasta salad...but then I wanted to do something different for the second "salad". I recently purchased the new "Our Best Bites Cookbook" for inspiration for the luncheon...and I was glad I did! I got several ideas from this cookbook. And as soon as I saw the picture for the Greek Couscous on the "Salad" intro page, I was pretty sure this would be the one.

This recipe is awesome as is!! i didn't change anything!! (Except I like to use fresh ingredients whenever possible - so I subbed fresh rosemary for dry- but I realize at such a small amount it doesn't make a big difference, so I would just use dry next time.) AND, I didn't pour in all of the vinaigrette, most of it though.

SO.. here is the awesome recipe that is found only in their new cookbook and NOT on their website.


GREEK COUSCOUS SALAD

1 (14.5-ounce) can chicken broth plus enough water to make 2 cups
1/2 teaspoon dry oregano leaves
1 teaspoon dry basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon crushed dry rosemary
1 (10 ounce) box dry couscous (about 1 1/2 cups) - I used the "Middle Eastern" brand from the box
2 cups diced tomatoes, or 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved- I used the latter
1 medium cucumber, diced- I also peeled it, because I don't like the peelings
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
1/2 cup crumbled feta- I LOVE feta so I used a bit more
1/2 cup chopped parsley- Jeremy's not a big parsley fan, so I maybe used a heaping 1/4 cup


Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, pressed or finely minnced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Place the chicken broth and water, oregano, basil, and rosemary in a small pot on the stove top. Bring to a boil  Add the couscous, cover the pot with a lid, and remove from heat. Let sit for at least 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork. Cool to room temperature.
2. Combine cooled couscous, tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, olives, feta, and parsley. Set aside.
3. In a small jar, combine vinaigrette ingredients and shake until combined. Pour over salad, stir, and then refrigerate 2 hours before serving.  Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
4. If desired, garnish with fresh parsley, extra feta cheese, and lemon slices for squeezing on top.

3 comments:

Elise said...

This sounds so good! I love couscous (Jason doesn't...what's with these boys?!) as well. I want to try it!

This too sounds really similar to one of my favorite lunches...

I get a box of Near East Taboule. Pour how ever much boiling water it says on the box over the top & add the enclosed seasoning mix. Stir & let it sit in the fridge for 30 mins.

Then add any (or all, like I do!) of the following in amounts to your liking:
- Halved grape tomatoes
- Diced cucumber
- Sliced olives (kalmata or cheap canned black ones)
- Feta
- Craisins
- Slivered Almonds

Then squeeze a lemon on top and mix it all up. You can eat it right away, but I like to let it sit in the fridge so all the flavors meld.

In the summer, I will make this on Monday and then have it every day for lunch. SO good!

Shannon said...

Emily I LOVED this salad at Pearce's party (along with all the other eats)! It's one I know I would make again for myself. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Val said...

This looks incredible!