A simple couscous salad that’s perfect for light summer dinners or family potlucks. Also a great way to use leftover grilled vegetables!
This recipe is an homage to a salad I used to make back in my catering days but with my own twist /changes. Lightly toasted pearl couscous adds a nutty flavour and depth, finding balance amongst the smoky vegetables, tart lemon and sweet cranberry.
What you need:
- 250 grams Israeli or pearl couscous
- 1 3/4 cup water
- 2 tbsp canola or grapeseed oil
- 1 small /medium zucchini
- 1/2 red pepper
- 1 shallot
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1 tsp garlic
- 2 tbsp agave syrup
- 1/4 lemon juice or the juice of two whole lemons
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pep to taste
- In a pot place 1 tbsp of canola oil and couscous over medium heat and begin gently toasting. They will become fragrant and speckled with golden brown.
Just a little brown here and there!
Once adequately toasted, add water, cover with lid and gently simmer for 4-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to sit lidded for an additional 4-6 minutes.
- Depending on your methods, either preheat your bbq or turn your oven on to broil. Cold leftover grilled or roasted vegetables can also be used and you may skip this step. I have no bbq, so oven it is for me!
- Slice zucchini into 1 cm strips, cut red pepper into smaller strips and quarter the shallot. Place in bowl and drizzle with remainder of canola oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss gently. Lay out in an even layer on a baking sheet and broil until they begin to blister and brown on the edges. About 7-8 minutes but keep an eye on it, some ovens go turbo broil. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
Doesn’t have to be fancy, you just want it uniform enough that the broiler will brown and soften the veg.
- Prepare your dressing while the veggies and couscous are cooling. In a small blender add garlic, agave, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper. Blend until combined. Be careful with adding too much agave because there’s a fine line between lemon dressing and lemonade.
- Once roasted veg is cool enough to handle, dice and place into a large bowl along with couscous, dried cranberries and dressing. Toss to coat. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Feel free to switch up the veggies if you prefer different ones, don’t omit the cranberry! It really makes it pop!