There is still time to get in a few more salads before the season comes to and end. This Couscous salad is a new take on an old recipe of mine. I have been making Roasted Vegetable Couscous for years and is on my dinner table about once a month. This version has the addition of a punchy lemon vinaigrette and sharp feta. Served cold instead of hot and is downright barbecue worthy.
I did say that salad season wasn't quite over just yet. There is still time for sitting outside and enjoying the fresh flavours of summer until fall settles in full force. If you happen to be looking for some new ideas to freshen up your old salads, why not try this great couscous salad. It isn't really a quick salad to make, but it can be made in advance and refrigerated up to the day before serving.
The dressing for this salad it what gives it all it's flavour. I love lemons in anything and am fortunate to have a lemon tree just sitting in my garden. Mind you, there aren't many ripe ones just yet as the season isn't until winter. Nonetheless, there is still a scatter lemon to grab from time to time.
This is such an easy vinaigrette that would also go along great on any green salad or even a marinade for vegetables. The options are endless.
When you look through the recipe below, you will notice that the salad is refrigerated after the dressing is added. This is an important step to get all the flavours just right. I would say, you could eat it straight away, but it won't have the same flavours.
I just want to take a second to talk about cooking couscous. I know it must seem pretty straightforward and it is really. But has anyone every made couscous and it was like a large clump in the pan. Too watery or too dry and just pain horrible? I am sure we have all been there and there is just a simple fix that works every time for me.
A friend of mine showed me how to properly cook couscous a few years ago and it is fail safe for fluffy couscous every single time. You know how the box says to put your couscous in a pan over heat. Well don't listen to that box. Instead, always put the couscous in a pan NOT set over heat. Then add boiling water, cover with plastic wrap and just leave it alone until it does it's thing. It has never failed me yet. Easy.
Couscous Salad in a Lemon Vinaigrette
Serves 6-8 / Prep time: 20 minutes / Cook time: 30 minutes / Chill time: 1/2 Hour
For the salad:
2 Cups/345 grams of couscous, uncooked
3 Cups/720 ml boiling water
1 medium red pepper, roughly chopped
1 medium zucchini, halved length ways and sliced into 1/2 inch thick pieces
1 Leek, ends trimmed, cut in half lengthways and roughly chopped
1 Tomato, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1 Cup/165 grams of cooked chickpeas
Bunch of fresh chopped cilantro to serve
Zest of one lemon
3/4 Cup/250 grams Feta cheese, crumbled
For the dressing:
1/4 Cup/60 ml olive oil
Juice of one lemon
Zest of one lemon
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 Teaspoon salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Make the dressing by combining all the ingredients in a small glass jar and shaking well. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and on a large baking tray arrange red pepper and zucchini. Drizzle over 1 tablespoon of the olive oil season with salt. Bake in oven for approximately 30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and slightly scorched. Remove from oven and set aside to cool
While the vegetables are cooking, heat the other tablespoon of oil in a medium skillet set over medium heat. Add the leeks and stir for just a few seconds. Cook for about 5 minutes until slightly soft. Remove from heat.
In a large saucepan, add the dry couscous. Give it a shake so it is quite evenly spread out. Next pour over the boiling water. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and leave for about 15 minutes or until all the water has absorbed and the couscous is soft. Once the couscous is cooked, fluff it up with a fork. Make sure you do the entire dish and try not to leave any lumps in.
Transfer the couscous to a large bowl. Add all the vegetables, the tomatoes and the chickpeas and stir well. Pour over the vinaigrette and give another stir. Add the cilantro, lemon zest and feta cheese, reserving about 1/4 of each for topping the salad at the end. Stir really well to combine, cover and refrigerate for about 1/2 hour.
Remove from fridge, give another stir. Top salad with remaining cilantro, lemon zest and feta cheese. Can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days.
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!
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