Green on Green Couscous Salad

Green on Green Couscous Salad

So you’re going to an end-of-summer or back-to-school potluck, you know there’ll be an array of the typical high-fat, over-processed foods and you want to make a statement …………. that great nutrition can have fabulous flavor as well  …………  Or maybe you’ve just overdone it lately on junk food ………….. Perhaps you’re trying to feed your family more healthy, without sacrificing deliciousness …………..
……………. you’ve come to the right place ………….. for sure!! This delicious Green on Green Couscous Salad comes together quickly, is loaded with great healthy, fresh ingredients and has a burst of vibrant flavor with every bite. It makes a wonderful side dish for any type of meat, poultry or seafood but can also be a meal on its own. Sound good?

Green on Green Couscous Salad (1)

If you’re not familiar with couscous, you’re going to be pleasantly surprised. Couscous is a fine-grained pasta and is a staple in the African countries of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya. It’s also a favorite in Sicily and France and has grown in popularity in recent years in the United States. On it’s own, it can be fairly bland but I like to think of it as a blank palette; a starch that can take on a myriad of flavors and personalities.

Green on Green Couscous Salad (5)

With the herb garden overflowing at this time of the year, I snipped basil and parsley and threw together a pesto. Along with the summer herbs, I added cilantro, parmesan cheese, a handful of pistachios, fresh lemon juice and a splash of extra virgin olive oil. A whirl in the food processor produced a vibrantly green pesto that brought my plain, simple couscous to life.

Green on Green Couscous Salad (3)

The markets are abundant right now with with fabulous summer produce. I added fresh corn, baby arugula, red and green onion along with a generous handful of edamame (I love to keep this healthy veggie in the freezer year round) and a scatter of pistachios on top. The results are delicious; we enjoyed this with pan-seared, boneless chicken breasts and we’re loving it for wonderful healthy lunches all week long. It will feed a crowd but also makes great leftovers served warm or at room temperature.

Green on Green Couscous Salad (6)

Feel free to adapt the veggies in this salad according to the market and what looks best. Zucchini, diced and lightly sautéed would be delicious as would roasted peppers, cauliflower, squash and/or eggplant. A sprinkle of Feta rounds out the flavors deliciously, if desired. You decide, it’s wide open, but I think you’ll find the recipe’s a keeper!

Green on Green Couscous Salad
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • Ingredients for the salad:
  • 1 ½ cups couscous
  • 2 ¼ cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup fresh basil, packed
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, packed
  • ¼ cup flat leaf parsley, packed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup pistachios
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1½ cups couscous
  • 2¼ cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 ears fresh corn, kernels cut from cobs
  • 1 cup frozen edamame, cooked according to package directions
  • ½ cup finely diced red onion
  • 4 medium green (spring) onions, finely sliced
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • ¾ cup crumbled Feta cheese, optional
  • extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • pistachios and lemon slices or wedges for garnish
Instructions
  1. Place couscous in a large bowl. Bring broth to a boil on stove top or in microwave. Pour hot broth over couscous and stir to combine. Immediately cover couscous tightly with plastic wrap. Set aside for 10 minutes, then uncover and fluff with a fork. Cover again with plastic wrap and set aside till ready to use.
  2. While couscous is resting, combine basil, cilantro, parsley, garlic, pistachios and Parmesan in the bowl of a food processor. Process for 2-3 minutes or until everything is finely minced. Add olive oil, lemon juice and water and mix again until well combined. If mixture is still quite thick, add another 1-2 tablespoons of water.
  3. Add pesto to bowl with couscous. Stir well to combine and incorporate all of the pesto. Add corn, edamame, red onion, green onion and arugula*. Str gently to combine. Place on individual plates or on a large serving platter. Scatter pistachios over the top. Drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with Feta, if desired. Serve with lemon slices or wedges.
  4. * I like to reserve a bit of each of these to scatter on top, just before serving.
  5. serves 4-6 as a main dish, 6-8 as a side

Comments

  1. says

    Ahhh, so the pesto gives it that vibrant hue. I was wondering about that. :) It’s gorgeous. I’m not fond of couscous on its own either, but in a salad like what you made, I think I could devour the whole bowl in one sitting.

  2. says

    The instant I saw the picture I thought pesto!! I think I can easily cut this in half for my hubby and I to try. (I sent you an email the other day through regular channels…not sure if you got it.)

  3. says

    I agree – couscous on its own doesn’t have much flavor, but mixed with other ingredients it’s great. This salad looks so healthy and delicious!

  4. says

    Chris, what a lovely green couscous salad – I have made so many salads with wheat berries and pearl barley in the last couple of weeks – it is easy to loose sight of the lovely couscous – your salad sounds delicious and it looks so very vibrant and healthy, full of wonderful ingredients!

  5. says

    Oh, boy. Much as I love my nibbles of sweets, it’s dishes like your marvelous couscous salad that really fill my menu. Can’t wait to try this one :)

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