Couscous Salad

Couscous Salad

One Thanksgiving when our vegetarian daughter was visiting, I developed this salad to take to the family meal. It proved to be so successful that it has become one of the most popular salads we make at cooking classes during the year! It can easily be made early in the day and refrigerated until ready to serve. It is also quite delicious if still warm.

Serves 8
Level of Difficulty: Easy

2 cups couscous
3 cups water, boiling
1 red onion minced
1 red pepper chopped
1 green pepper chopped
2 small zucchini chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup pine nuts roasted in a 350 degree oven until lightly colored
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cumin

To Finish
1 cup grape tomatoes cut into quarters
1 tablespoon minced parsley
¼ cup minced cilantro
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Place 3 tablespoons of oil in large skillet and heat. Add onion, zucchini and peppers and cook over a moderate heat until the vegetables become soft – about 10 to 15 minutes. Add raisins, nuts, cumin and cinnamon and continue cooking until warmed through. Add couscous and stir in until couscous becomes coated with oil. Add water, remove from heat and leave covered for 5-7 minutes.

Open pot and break up couscous with a fork or spoon. Place in a serving bowl and stir in parsley, tomatoes and cilantro. Whisk together salt and pepper with the ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil and rice wine vinegar in a small bowl. Taste and adjust flavors. Toss with the couscous and vegetables. Refrigerate until serving time.

Complementary Wines: Albarino, Beaujolais, Macabeo, Rosé

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