Tired of the same old mayonnaise-laden potato or macaroni salad that is a staple of the summer picnic and cook-out? Give your taste buds a kick this summer with an exotic new accompaniment to grilled burgers, chicken, fish, steak, or lamb. Colorful couscous salads with a hint of sweetness and plenty of vegetables will give you an exotic and flavorful side-dish for your picnic basket or backyard barbecue this summer.
Moroccan Couscous Salad
Serves 6 to 8
1 cup water
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons cumin
1 cup uncooked couscous
2 lemons, zested and juiced
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small zucchini, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded, finely diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded, finely diced
1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
1/2 cup currants, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. Combine water, turmeric, coriander, cumin, and 1 teaspoon of salt in a small pot and bring to a boil. Pour couscous in large bowl and cover with the boiling water.
2. Gently combine with a fork and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let couscous rest for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Once liquid is absorbed, fluff couscous with a fork or your fingers.
3. Add lemon zest and juice and oil to mixture and combine with a fork. Mix in the zucchini, peppers, onions, currants, and parsley. Season to taste with salt.
4. Cover with plastic wrap and let chill for a few hours to allow flavors to blend. This salad can be prepared up to 3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
Aztec Couscous Salad
Makes 4 servings
1 cup couscous
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 to 1-1/4 cups water
1-3/4 cups canned or freshly cooked black beans
1 cup corn kernels
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno, minced
3 tablespoons roasted garlic olive oil
3 to 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed limejuice
1. Combine couscous, cumin, and salt in a large bowl and add 1 cup of boiling water, stirring with a fork to combine.
2. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. If couscous is not tender enough, add 1/4 cup more of boiling water and let sit again. When liquid is
absorbed, fluff gently with a fork.
3. Mix black beans, corn, red onion, and jalapeno into couscous. Drizzle with oil and lime juice. Serve salad warm or at room temperature.
Tropical Couscous Salad
Makes 8 servings
2-1/4 cups fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (10-ounce) box couscous
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 mango, peeled, pitted, chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1. Combine orange juice and cumin to a boil in a medium-sized pot. Mix in couscous and place lid on top. Take pot off of heat and let sit 5 minutes. Spoon mixture into a large bowl and let cool.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, soy sauce, and lime juice. Pour over couscous and combine well. Mix in cilantro, basil, chives, ginger, and mango. Top with pine nuts. Serve chilled or
at room temperature.
Pair your couscous salads with the following dishes for a complete meal:
Sneaky Chef Barbell Burgers
Grilled Lamb Chops
Gingery Grilled Chicken and Peaches
Sirloin and Grilled Fennel