Today’s CousCous salad recipe looks amazing, and it’s not just because I love lemons; I adore grain-based salads because they make a terrific side dish or even main meal for lunch. Plus this version has the crunch of pine nuts– perfection! Huge thanks to Michele from Our Rosey Life for contributing her recipe to our Summer Salad Series.
Oh my gosh! The salad recipes being shared for Making Lemonade’s Summer Salad Series have been awesome! Have you had a chance to make any of them yet for your family? Yep. I have too! If you haven’t, no worries… there’s still plenty of summer left. Salads and summer go together like a movie and popcorn or a rainy day and a good book or red with white and blue. Right? Today I’m sharing my Couscous Salad with Cranberries, Lemon and Fresh Herbs (Summer Salad Series). It is delicious and so easy to make.
Well… I’m getting ahead of myself. I really should introduce myself first, shouldn’t I? My name is Michele and I blog at Our Rosey Life. I love and write about family fun, home decor projects, recipes, photography and oh yes… making stuff. Making stuff makes me happy.
And I must say a heartfelt thank you to Carrie for inviting me to share my summer salad recipe with you today!!
My family loves this pasta salad – Couscous with Cranberries, Lemon and Fresh Herbs. Israeli couscous is a small round pasta, not a grain like rice. The blend of the tart lemon with the sweetness of the cranberries and the freshness of the basil and mint makes this salad a winner! And did I mention the crunch of pine nuts? Yep. There are pine nuts too.
I hope you will give it a try! It’s very easy to make and serves well at room temperature. I have made it a day ahead and simply added the basil and mint from the herb garden before serving. It’s a perfect side dish or can be the main course with some grilled chicken or grilled shrimp. If cranberries aren’t your thing, any dried fruit will work like dried tart cherries, raisins or currants. If a picnic is on your calendar, this summer salad is great because there is no mayonnaise, just lemon and fresh herbs from the garden. And can I share a secret? I make this salad in the winter and serve it beside a white fish or salmon, when I want a little taste of summer. Delish!
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 8.8 oz. box of Israeli couscous (or 1 lb. orzo pasta works well too)
- 3 cups of chicken broth
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Zest of 1 lemon
- ¼ cup of extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
- ½ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ pine nuts, toasted
- In a sauce pan, warm the 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the minced garlic and stir for 30 seconds.
- Add the couscous and stir until lightly browned (about 5 minutes).
- Carefully add the chicken broth and the juice of 1 lemon.
- Bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to simmer, cover the pot, stir occasionally, until the couscous is tender - about 10-12 minutes.
- In a large bowl, toss the cooked couscous with the ¼ cup of olive oil, the juice of 1 lemon, the lemon zest, salt and pepper.
- Let the mixture cool.
- Once the couscous has cooled to room temperature, add the fresh herbs, dried cranberries and pine nuts.
- Toss to combine.
The salad can be served chilled or at room temperature.
It works as a side dish or as an entree with the simple addition of grilled chicken or shrimp.
Thank you Carrie for inviting me to visit today and I’m so happy I could bring a dish to serve! It was such fun meeting everyone and I hope you’ll stop by for a visit at Our Rosey Life and we’ll chat some more. Or I could be found on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Google+ or Twitter sharing a little more Rosey stuff.