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Don't feel like peeling the spuds, or steaming rice on a hot day? Solution, try my cool couscous salad that is ready to serve in a matter of minutes. And, it's a great make-ahead cold side-salad that travels well from your kitchen to backyard or beach picnic.  

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A staple side of North Africa, Sicily and the Middle East, couscous is made from semolina, or granules of durum wheat. A healthy side dish it contains a 1 % low fat-to calorie ration of  3.6 grams of protein for every 100 grams. But, my flavorful Couscous and Tomato Salad tastes so good. Who will remember the dish is healthy? 

Serve warm or chilled with Grilled Garlic Shrimp, or go all veggie and top with Honey Glazed Acorn Squash.

Couscous and Tomato Salad

Makes four cups 

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1 1/2 cups Couscous

2 cups chicken broth

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1/4 sweet onion, chopped

1/4 sweet red bell pepper, chopped

2 Tablespoons pine nuts and raisins

2 Tablespoons fresh mint, chopped

For Tomato Dressing: 2 Tablespoons lemon juice; 1 Tablespoon honey; 1/2 cup vine ripened tomatoes, chopped; 1/4 cup chick peas; cooked or canned rinsed & drained; 1/4 cup olive oil; 2 teaspoons curry powder; pinch of cinnamon

Pre heat a sauté pan; add one tablespoon olive oil, onions and peppers. Sauté three- five minutes until tender.  Add pine nuts and raisins and cook one additional minute. Add couscous; mix with onion and pepper mixture. Add boiling hot chicken broth, 1 Tablespoon mint, cover and remove from stove. Allow to rest for five minutes.

Meanwhile make Tomato Dressing by mixing tomatoes, chick peas, lemon juice, honey, olive oil, curry, cinnamon and remaining mint.  

After couscous has sat covered for five minutes remove lid and mix with a fork or spoon to loosen granules. Top and mix in the tomato dressing.

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