I love this salad so much that we generally end up eating the entire bowl shortly after making it.
Maybe it’s just pearl couscous that does it to us, or maybe it’s the garlicky dressing, but we’ve been making this Smitten Kitchen recipe for years and have yet to grow tired of it.
For roasted tomatoes and dressing
2 pt red grape or cherry tomatoes (1 1/2 lb)
3 large garlic cloves, left unpeeled
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 3/4 cups chicken broth (or water)
2 1/4 cups pearl (Israeli) couscous
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup Kalamata or other brine-cured black olives, pitted and chopped (I like to use a food processor)
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint (optional)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 250 F. Take a baking sheet and spread with olive oil, and then toss the halved tomatoes in it and spread it on the pan. Sprinkle some salt and pepper. When the oven is heated, cook for about one hour.
2. Bring broth to a boil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan and stir in couscous, then simmer, uncovered, 6 minutes. Cover pan and remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes.
3. Once the couscous is done cooking, spread it on a baking sheet pan to let cool.
4. Take the garlic, 1/4 cup water, 1 tsp lemon juice, and 1/2 cup of tomatoes, 1/4 cup of olive oil and puree until smooth in a food processor.
5. Toss the couscous with the garlic and lemon juice dressing, olives, and tomatoes. Add parsley if you wish and season with salt and pepper to taste.
From Smitten Kitchen.
Even the best dinner intentions sometimes end in a mild catastrophe, but this always seems to be the best way to end up cooking something new and inventive.
I was waiting for my husband to come home and had made this delicious red quinoa salad out of leftovers with sliced cucumbers and a variation of tzatziki that I had just “whipped up” and was feeling so proud of myself when…. I opened the refrigerator door too quickly and the glass bowl that contained this eclectic concoction spun out of the fridge and crashed on my floor.
Now if you’ve never tried to clean up quinoa from a tile floor, let me tell you, it’s high on my list of “very difficult” right beneath trying to clean up a smashed jar of turmeric (but that’s a story for another day). Anyways, the point is that now I had very little time to whip together something to replace this salad and while leafing through My Paris Kitchen, a wonderful book that Lisa gave me about a year ago, I ended up making this delicious couscous salad.
I happened to have almost everything in my pantry (including preserved lemons), and was sooooo delicious that we could not believe we had not made it before.
- 1 preserved lemon
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tbsp salted OR unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup diced dried fruit (I used dried cranberries)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 3/4 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 1/4 cups Israeli couscous
- freshly ground black pepper
- Trim the stem end from the lemon and cut it into quarters. Scoop out the pulp and press it through a strainer into a bowl to extract the juices; discard the pulp. Finely dice the preserved lemon rind and add it to the bowl along with the parsley, butter, dried fruit, walnuts, salt and cinnamon.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a bowl over high heat. Add the couscous and cook according to the package instructions. Drain the couscous and add it to the bowl, stirring until the butter is melted and all the ingredients are well mixed. Season with pepper and serve.
Adapted from My Paris Kitchen, by David Lebovitz