Boy, we’ve been enjoying some very nice salads this summer. From lentil to pasta to asparagus, they’ve all been so good. Some of my favorites use Israeli couscous as a base so I’m particularly excited about what I’ve got to share with you today. Similar to my previous couscous salad recipe, this one takes advantage of lots of nice veggies and and incredible tasting vinaigrette. The previous salad recipe I shared was much more Mediterranean-like, so it’s not too similar to this one. Today’s recipe uses basic ingredients that are easily accessible.
This dish is relatively simple to prepare. Toast up the couscous and then cook it, prepare the vinaigrette and then grill or fry up the bell peppers. Combine the ingredients and there you go. I’ll tell you that my favorite part of this dish was the vinaigrette. Think about these flavors; lemon juice, salt, pepper, cumin, honey and olive oil. I kept tasting as I was cooking and yes, I’ve decided that this vinaigrette is just marvelous.
For the Vinaigrette
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
1 Teaspoon Honey
1 Garlic Clove, Minced
1 Teaspoon Salt
3/4 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1/2 Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
For the Salad
1 1/2 Cups Israeli Couscous
2 1/4 Cups Water
1 Large Cucumber, Sliced into Rounds
3 Scallions, Sliced into Rounds
1 Cup Parsley, Mint, Basil Mixture, Chopped Coarsely
1 Pound (3 to 4) Colorful Bell Peppers, Cut into 1 Inch Pieces
4 Ounces Swiss Cheese, Cut into 1/2 Inch Pieces
Ground Black Pepper
I’d like to thank Hannaford for this recipe. This one is another that I pulled from their Fresh publication. Like all the others, this one is perfect.
Cook the Couscous
Warm a large skillet over medium heat. Add in two tablespoons of olive oil when the pan is to temperature and then add in the couscous. Stir the couscous every so often while it’s lightly browning. After approximately five minutes and when the pasta is somewhat toasted, add in the water and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Bring the temperature to high and when the water brings to boil, reduce the heat and cover the pan. Let the couscous cook for approximately 12 minutes or until it’s tender and the water is absorbed.
After that, spread the couscous on a large baking sheet and allow it to cool.
Make the Vinaigrette
In a medium sized bowl, add the lemon juice, honey, garlic, salt, cumin, pepper and olive oil. Whisk these ingredients together well.
Brown the Bell Pepper
Warm a large skillet over medium heat and then add two tablespoons olive oil to it. When the pan is to temperature, add in the bell pepper pieces and let them cook for a few minutes, stirring intermittently. The goal here is to add some color to the peppers. I’d say about five minutes is fine. Once the peppers have some brown on them and are slightly tender, remove them from the pan and turn off the heat.
In a large bowl, add the couscous, peppers, herb mixture, scallions, cucumber, some salt and pepper to taste and half the vinaigrette. Mix well.
Plate & Serve
Divide the salad between plates. Then, drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over each plate and top with the Swiss cheese. Serve and enjoy!
The Final Couscous & Pepper Salad
This recipe actually looks more challenging than it really is. It’s a snap to put together and it’s just perfect. If you decide to give this dish a try, please let me know your thoughts down in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!