Thursday, August 30, 2012

Greek Couscous Salad

Whew! There's been a lot of excitement over here at Elmwood Eats in the past week or so. My amazing boyfriend (now fiance!!) proposed last weekend - if you want to know the full story, you can check it out here. It's pretty adorable if I do say so myself.

Anyway, back on Friday, we had a potluck lunch at work. My office is full of foodies so of course it was an incredible spread of food. People made homemade harissa and babaganoush, quinoa and black bean salad, chicken curry salad, crostini with herb butter and radishes, and pear-almond pie and peach and berry crisp for dessert. It was really hard not to slip into a food coma after all that deliciousness!

My contribution to lunch was this couscous salad with cucumber, tomato, and feta, tossed in a light, lemony dressing. It took less than 20 minutes to make and it's great on its own or as a side dish for a late summer barbecue!

Greek Couscous Salad (serves at least 10 as a side dish):
2 cups couscous
2 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 large english cucumber or 2 large, quartered and chopped
About 8 ounces of feta cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4-1/3 cup lemon juice (depending how tart you like your dressing)
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper

First, cook the couscous - for most types, use a 1-1 ratio of cups of water to cups of couscous. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt to the water, then bring it to boil in a large saucepan. Once it reaches a boil, remove it from heat and add couscous, stirring to mix it all together. Cover the pot and let it sit for about 5 minutes - the couscous will cook by absorbing the hot water. Once it's fully cooked, transfer it from the saucepan to a large bowl and let it cool.

While the couscous is cooling, prepare the other ingredients for the salad. Cut the cucumber in half, then halve each half, and chop it into small, bite size pieces.

Halve the cherry tomatoes, and cut the feta into small chunks to make it easier to crumble up.

Add all ingredients to the couscous. Then, in a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to make the dressing. You'll probably want to taste the dressing at this point to make sure it's not too tart for your liking - add more olive oil for less tartness, or more lemon if you want the acid. Once it's well balanced, pour it over the salad and toss well to combine.

Enjoy! The salad keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or so, and I think it gets even better after sitting for a few hours - all the components start to really meld together and the flavors intensify.

Finally...Poppy in her favorite spot on the couch, doing her squinty eye face. Cute or creepy? I can't decide...

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