Sunday, July 27, 2008

Greek Salad with Israeli Couscous--A Salad for Sunday & Lunch for Monday

I have the most attractive "farmer's tan" or rather "farmer's burn" today. I walked down to the boat launch near my house to meet some friends and watch another friend paddle in from Molokai in a race (32 miles of paddling on a board, although he did it alternating, as a pair but still that's 16 miles!). I usually apply sunscreen, especially on the weekend, but for some reason I guess I skipped it because after a couple of hours in the sun I have red arms up to the tee-shirt line, a nice collar of red and a bright red nose. I am a bit sore at the moment. Lucky for me I pretty much had dinner taken care of before I left the house because I threw together this easy and hearty salad this morning before I left.
I have not cooked a lot with Israeli Couscous but I really like it and bought a few bags when I found it in the specialty section of a grocery store here. If you are not familiar with Israeli Couscous, it is about twice the size of regular couscous and has a more pasta like texture. I used it in this salad that I made from Everyday Food, a couple of months ago. It was pretty good but I thought the couscous would be even better with some crunchy vegetables and feta cheese in a Greek Salad.

Greek Salad with Israeli Couscous
1 package Israeli Couscous (about an 8 oz package)
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups water
1 medium cucumber, peeled and seeded if desired, and quartered
12 grape tomatoes, halved
1 small red onion, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/3 cup chopped parsley
Greek Salad Dressing (recipe below)
6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a medium saucepan, add couscous and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until lightly browned. Add water, bring to a boil, cover pan and turn down heat, and simmer couscous for about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove cooked couscous from heat, place in colander and run cool water over it to cool couscous down. Drain couscous and mix it with cucumber, tomatoes, onion, pepper, celery and parsley until combined. Gently mix in dressing, recipe below and add feta cheese before serving.

Greek Salad Dressing
2 cloves garlic, diced finely
1 tsp dried mint
1 tsp dried oregano
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together thoroughly. Mix gently with salad ingredients.
Results: The salad was delicious--cool and crunchy with some creaminess from the feta cheese and the pasta. You could switch out ingredients according to your tastes. (I think artichoke hearts and olives might be a nice addition, or maybe some summer squash or zucchini). Since I was craving meat, I threw a flank steak on the grill pan and sliced it to top my pasta salad for dinner. I will probably eat it the same way for lunch tomorrow too.

Hope everyone had a good weekend!


  1. never tried Israeli couscous, just the teeny couscous. this looks delicious :)

  2. Ooh that looks yummy and that was a good idea to throw in some feta and crunchy veggies. I'm so happy when I have left overs like that around.

  3. I just started using Israeli kids like it; it has the best texture. That kind of salad always tastes even better the next day.


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