Recipe: Greek Couscous Salad

by Cate on September 19, 2011

Greek Couscous Salad
I always did like a good couscous salad.

Unfortunately no one I know within sharing distance does.

Which, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t so terrible.

It just means I have to really, really, really be in the mood for couscous since it will take me several days of having it to get through eating the whole recipe.

When I put good food in my body, and by good food I mean food that’s good for you, I’m quickly reminded of how important that is. While Nathan’s cheese fries might be arguably good (and an infrequent weakness), it doesn’t quite fuel me in the same way that good-for-you food does. It’s why clean eating works.

Feta cheese.

Kalamata olives.

Jersey tomatoes (and making the last of farmer’s market goodness).

Chick peas. I could totally eat a can of chick peas. By themselves. By myself.

With full-on flavor coming from so many (simple) ingredients, it’s no wonder this shapes up to be a tasty dish.  This recipe is stupid simple. Like so simple that if you like couscous, you should make this and eat it. And I hope you like couscous.  Perfect for a side dish to your dinner or a light lunch for the week, it takes just minutes (like under 10) to make.

Earlier in the year, I joined the MyPanera club. The brainchild of the Panera restaurant chain, it’s free to join and they scan your key tag every time you visit and you get rewarded with free menu items. And apparently free recipes too, because that’s where this Greek Couscous Salad recipe originated from. Courtesy of the folks at Panera and my e-mail inbox.

Oh wait. PS. This is the first time I have ever bought, used and/or eaten feta by the block. This brand (below), in particular, was from Costco. What a WORLD of difference. It is packed in natural brine and the taste is a thousand percent better than any other packaged feta. I bought the block for another recipe that I didn’t end up making, and it’s actually cheaper buying it this way, so there’s your super helpful tip for the day, on top of the new recipe, of course.
Feta by the Block

September 19, 2011 – Bonus Photos
Little Lady
I love seeing her cute little hands with nail polish. We had a minor debate over the color. I’m not a fan of little kids wearing dark nail polish. But she wanted the color I was wearing, so we settled on the same color, but only one coat and we’ll change it after a few days to something a little more age-appropriate.

Afternoon Beverage
Another Aldi find, this time courtesy of Mystic. Not quite the same as a refreshing glass of Diet Coke over ice, but a reasonable substitution.

And yes, I write on my hands. It’s called a note-I-can’t misplace. Quite effective.

Recipe: Greek Couscous Salad

Serving Size: 6 servings

Perfect for a light lunch, this Greek salad gets some spark from briny Kalamata olives.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts (I skipped)
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 box (10 ounces) plain quick-cooking couscous (I used garlic-flavored)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 3/4 cup chickpeas (cooked or canned and drained) (I used more)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

Instructions

  1. Toast the pine nuts in a dry saucepan over medium heat until light brown and fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes, shaking pan now and then. Remove and set aside.
  2. Add the broth to the pan and bring to a boil. Stir in the couscous, cover, and remove from the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork.
  3. Put the lemon juice in a large serving bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil in a slow steady stream until it is incorporated and slightly thickened. Whisk in the salt and pepper.
  4. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 4 days.
http://sweetnicks.com/2011/09/recipe-greek-couscous-salad/

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah Caron September 19, 2011 at 10:11 pm

That looks delicious. I am a sucker for anything couscous. Or feta. Or kalamata.

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Betsy September 19, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Thanks for the recipe. I love couscous salads. A fav is black beans, corn, tomaotoes, couscous, lime, olive oil, cilantro.

And, I make something similar to the recipe you posted — sans chickpeas. Think I will add next time.

I always buy the whole wheat couscous from Trader Joes. Can’t tell any difference (being so small).

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Joanne September 20, 2011 at 6:24 am

You made it! I’m glad to see it ended up being as tasty as it promised. Couscous salads (really any grain salads) are big over here as well.

And block feta – um…totally a revelation. I can’t believe you didn’t discover it sooner!

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beth September 20, 2011 at 7:11 am

I’m in sharing distance…and I _love_ couscous and everything in that salad. I will fight you for the chick peas!!

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Patsy September 20, 2011 at 9:18 am

Hey! I’m in sharing distance! I am definitely going to have to make this salad… and will try that feta next time I’m at Costco. Have you ever been to the Greek Store (I think it’s in Westfield, but I could be wrong)? I hear they have every version of feta available and you can sample them before buying!

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Ramona September 21, 2011 at 10:23 am

Haven’t ever had couscous. Looks interesting.

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