Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cleaning it Up & Dumbing it Down...Couscous Salad

After explaining to my husband what I was doing with this recipe yesterday, I've decided that will be the name of the cookbook that I never intend to write:) I found this recipe on the back of my couscous box and after grocery shopping specifically for the ingredients (and then still forgetting some of them), I had to make substitutions that I am so well known for......this one actually turned out to be edible (and actually good in the opinion of my palate), so I thought I would share.

If I had realized that the dressing I was making was basically a vinegarette, I probably would've cheated there too and just bought one, so that's an option to make this even easier. I would also cut the dressing recipe in half as the salad got a bit too oily for my taste. Otherwise, this was a really refreshing summer pasta salad that I was able to pull out of the fridge and serve to our weekend company (who enjoyed it too).

Garden Couscous Salad (Makes 4 servings)

1 3/4 cup. whole wheat israeli couscous (I found this in the ethic food aisle @ Target)

2/3 cup orange juice (I forgot to buy this, so squeezed an orange for 1/3 cup, then used POM juice for 1/3 cup)

2 TBSP distilled white vinegar

2 tsp. brown mustard (I just used a cheap-y dijon that we had in our fridge)

3/4 tsp. sugar (I used 1 TBSP Agave nectar)

1/2 cup olive oil (again, I would cut this and the whole drsg recipe in half or even 3/4)

3 scallion, thinly sliced

2 medium carrots, shredded (forget it, buy the pre-shredded)

2 cucumbers, finely diced (1 seemed to be more than enough here)

Boil 2 1/4 cups water with a pinch of salt and then remove from heat. Add couscous and cover for 5 minutes, then fluff with fork and transfer to large bowl to cool (it might just be me, but this NEVER works when I make couscous....or maybe I am over-cooking it, but I leave it in the boiling water until soft).

For dressing, in a small bowl whisk together OJ, vingar, mustard and sugar/sweetner. Then whisk in olive oil & salt. Pour dressing over couscous. Add scallions/onions, carrots, cucumbers and toss.

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