Toasted Pearl Couscous Salad

A melange of roasted vegetables combines with Israeli pearl couscous, herbs, feta and chickpeas on crisp baby greens with a delicious lemon-balsamic vinaigrette.

Toasted pearl Couscous Salad

I first had this (more like just something like it) when I stopped in for lunch at a local caterer called Fresco, in Kettering Ohio. I really loved it. There is quite a lot going on in there, and it can easily vary with different types of veggies. I have also seen similar recipes online for toasted couscous with roasted veggies. None of salad greens like this though. I think it makes a great vegetarian entree salad.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pearl couscous
  • 1 tbsp. lemon-infused olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 fuyu persimmon, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lemon-infused olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 3.5-4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup golden berry blend (mixed golden raisins, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, and dried cherries)
  • 6-8 cups torn baby greens
  • small handful of basil leaves
  • small handful of Italian parsley leaves
  • 3 ounces lemon-infused olive oil
  • 2 ounces white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon basil paste
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Place couscous and the one tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan. Cook, stirring, until couscous becomes a toasty brown color, the way you would brown vermicelli in rice-a-roni.
  3. Add water to pan along with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover and simmer for ten minutes. Remove from heat and let sit quietly with the lid on.
  4. Toss chopped persimmon, chopped zucchini and chopped shallot with oil salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until tender and lightly caramelized.
  5. Place roasted vegetables, cooked couscous, olives, pine nuts, feta, chickpeas raisin blend in a bowl and gently stir to mix.
  6. Toss baby greens with torn basil leaves and parsley leaves.
  7. Whisk together the remaining olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil paste (or pesto), with salt and pepper.
  8. Mix about 2 ounces of the vinaigrette with the couscous mixture.
  9. Place greens on a serving plate and top with couscous topping. Drizzle with extra vinaigrette if desired.
  10. Sprinkle with a little parmesan cheese if you like.

You might also like:

Quick and Simple Caesar Salad

Sorrel Salad with Figs, Mushrooms and Prosciutto

Pan-Seared Queso Blanco Salad 

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