This time of year usually means more socializing than usual – dinner parties, office lunches, and last minute get-togethers, and if you’re asked to bring something delicious, this recipe will work for all of those festive occasions.
I’ve recently discovered whole wheat couscous. It has a grainy nutty flavour and it helps to check the box for getting more whole grains into your diet. It cooks just like regular, yellow couscous. Mix together equal parts boiling water and couscous, cover, and let swell for 10 minutes undisturbed. Then fluff and use. For this recipe I add some dried basil to flavour the couscous and some crunchy finely diced vegetables including red bell peppers which are LOADED with vitamin C.
Something useful I’ve learned in my cooking career is to rinse bell peppers after you’ve cut or diced them, this will keep them from turning slimy in the fridge or in a salad for up to five days. Just be sure to drain them well before storing them or adding them to this salad.
Festive Couscous Salad
- 1 cup whole wheat couscous
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup finely diced bell pepper rinsed and drained
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes quartered
- ¼ cup finely diced red onion
- ¼ cup roasted unsalted sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup minced parsley
- 1 tablespoon capers
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon agave
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- In a small bowl, mix together boiling water, couscous, basil and salt. Cover and let rest undisturbed for 10 minutes. Remove cover, fluff with a fork, and set aside to let cool.
- In a large bowl, add bell pepper, tomatoes, red onion, sunflower seeds, parsley, capers, and cooled couscous.
- In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic, red wine vinegar, agave, salt and pepper. Pour over salad. Toss, season to taste and serve or store in covered in the fridge.
- Sunflower seeds can be substituted with any roasted seeds or nuts
- This salad will keep in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. If it starts to dry out, add a touch more oil and vinegar to perk it back up.
- This is a great salad for meal prepping lunches.
- Capers can be substituted for olives or sundried tomatoes.