It’s only mid-January, and I’m already craving the warm summer months. A quick peak out the window reveals a deceptively cold, yet bright blue sky, covering the city’s snow-crusted streets. It’s slushy, it’s cold, it’s miserable, and the hems of my pants are in danger of being permanently salt-stained. But alas, food comes to the rescue!
While nasty outside, the kitchen often provides an escape to whichever destination you choose. Inspired by the Great Wall of China? Cook up a tasty stir-fry. Craving spice? Roast some root vegetables in Sriracha. Or perhaps a trip to the Middle East is next on your plate. Well, it can be with this recipe! A package of tri-color pearl couscous got the creative juices flowing for me. With some fresh vegetables, a few spices, and a drizzle of good olive oil, this salad came together in a snap. It’s full of flavor, and the vibrant vegetables will surely cure the winter blues, if only for a while.
Vegetable Couscous Salad
Serves 4 as a main dish, or 6 as a side
- 1 package tri-color couscous (8.8oz – I used Osem Israeli, as it is completely #unprocessed)
- 2 C water
- 1 small cucumber, chopped
- 6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and diced
- 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes (or to your liking)
- 1 tbsp dried sweet basil
- 1/2 tbsp minced onion
- crumbled goat cheese (optional)
Cook couscous in water according to package directions in a medium-sized pot.
While that cooks, prepare all vegetables. Add to the pot, along with chickpeas, oil and spices. Mix well and adjust spices as necessary. Serve and top with goat cheese, if using. Enjoy!
This salad may be eaten warm, straight off the stove, or refrigerated to be eaten cold. Both ways are delicious.