Claudia has been writing recipes online for many years. She enjoys coming up with unique and tasty dishes, especially sweet treats.
What Is Couscous?
Couscous is a type of pasta. It's not, in fact, a grain (as some people think). It is made from semolina (a type of wheat) flour. It originated in Northern Africa but can now be found in your local grocery store.
Couscous goes well with all sorts of sauces since it absorbs the sauce and is easy to prepare.
With the exception of anything with jello in it, I don't think there is a salad that I don't love. Salads are the perfect accompaniment to the main dish but also stand well on their own. They can be light and healthy or more substantial. If you open my refrigerator, chances are you'll find a salad and usually it will be this cucumber and tomato couscous salad.
The best thing about this salad is that it's perfect for lunch. I'm a substitute teacher and I frequently get called at the last minute. By the time I get my daughter ready for school and get myself ready for the day, I don't have time to make a big lunch. Cucumber and tomato couscous salad is loaded with fresh vegetables, feta cheese, couscous, and big Mediterranean flavors. I just grab a bottle of water and this salad and my lunch is set. An added bonus that I got when I first made this was that my daughter, a very picky eater, fell in love with couscous and now eats it all the time.
If you are looking for a new salad to add to your repertoire, give this recipe a try. You'll love it!
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|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
Serves six people one cup each
- 1 cup Couscous, uncooked
- 1 large Tomato, seeded and chopped
- 1 Cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
- 1 bunch Green Onions (Scallions), chopped
- 5 oz Feta Cheese (reduced fat), crumbled
- 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon Dried Oregano
- Prepare the couscous. 1 cup of dry couscous yields approximately 3 cups prepared. If you purchased a box of couscous, follow the directions on the label to prepare. If you buy couscous in bulk, bring 1 cup of water to a boil and then remove it from heat. Add 1 cup of dry couscous and cover. Let sit for 5 minutes, then remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Fluffing with a fork is an important step. The couscous tends to stick together if you don't. Cool couscous completely.
- While the couscous cools, clean and chop the tomato, cucumber, parsley, and green onion.
- For the dressing: In a measuring cup, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, mustard, and oregano until well blended.
- Once the couscous is cool, add the chopped vegetables, feta cheese, and the dressing. Mix well. This can be served immediately or chilled.
Tips and Tricks
- This recipe is perfect as is, but for added flavor and texture, consider adding chopped radishes or kalamata olives.
- I use apple cider vinegar, but red wine vinegar can be used. I find the apple cider vinegar tones the dressing down a bit, so it doesn't overpower the fresh vegetables.
- I use about half of a bunch of fresh parsley in my salad. It is usually more than 1/2 cup, but I love the taste. I do not suggest substituting dried parsley for fresh parsley.
- I use English cucumbers so I don't have to seed or peel them.
- This recipe is made with regular couscous, not pearl couscous. Pearl couscous or Israeli couscous is larger and has a denser texture. It's more like small balls of pasta.
© 2012 Claudia Porter