We’ve chatted about couscous before, over here, when I made up som faux-sotto, but that was the Israeli variety, this recipe is the regular kind. By ‘the regular kind’ I mean the small, yellow beads of couscous that are most commonly used throughout the world. I really don’t think there is a side dish out there that is easier than straight couscous, it’s as easy as making a cup of tea, really, and everyone can do that, right?
This salad is loaded with fresh vegetables and dressed with a light citrus & red wine vinaigrette, so bright & fresh! I made it to go with the Citrus & Herb Grilled Shrimp and I LOVED it. The tangy from the shrimp with the char from the grill on top of all those crisp vegetables? I was all sorts of annoyed that I didn’t get more shrimp to grill off, mixed in with the leftover salad was amazing for lunch…and dinner the next day. What? Hart was at work & I am not a big fan of cooking for reals only for me :)
These were the vegetables that I had on hand, feel free to mix them up with whatever you have around. I kind of cheated a little bit with the green beans, I should have blanched them, but instead I tossed them raw into the cooling couscous to let the carryover heat blanch them, they were perfectly crisp when I was ready to mix up the salad. Somewhat related: if using green beans, broccoli or even cauliflower in this kind of marinated salad you really should blanch them first (quickly drop into boiling, salted water for a minute then shock in ice water immediately). Their texture, and color, are much improved with a quick bath in some boiling water, just make sure that you get them cold quick, you aren’t trying to cook them, just get some of the raw off.
Making the couscous couldn’t be any easier. Place the couscous in a bowl, bring your liquid to a boil, pour overtop the couscous, cover and let sit for 5 minutes then fluff with a fork and make it into whatever you want. I mixed in the green beans after I fluffed to let them cook a little bit and let it cool, uncovered, while I chopped up all the other stuff I was tossing in. I used parsley & basil as my herbs, but switch up with whatever you have around, any fresh herb will do.
This version is vegetarian, nix the butter to make it vegan. Also all of the vegetable amounts are approximate, this is very much an add as much as you like or whatever you have kind of recipe – it’s really forgiving.
Loaded Vegetable Couscous
- 1.5 cups Couscous
- 3 cups Vegetable Stock
- 2 Tbsp Butter
- 2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
- 1 each Bay Leaf
Put the couscous in a bowl. Mix all the remaining ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn off the heat, pour in the couscous, stir if you need to and cover. Let sit for 5 minutes then fluff to loosen up the clumps.
- 1.5 cup Fresh Green Beans, trimmed into 1″ pieces
- 6-8 Radishes, small dice
- 1 bunch Green Onion, bias sliced
- 1.5 cup Fresh Cucumber, small dice
- 1 cup Diced Tomato
- 1/2 cup Minced Fresh Herbs – I used flat leaf parsley & basil
- juice of 1 Lemon
- juice of 1 Lime
- 3 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
- 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- salt & pepper to taste
Turn the fluffed couscous out into a mixing bowl to cool, add the green beans and stir periodically to soften them up while you do the rest of the vegetable prep. Once the couscous is cooled enough to touch add the rest of the vegetables and stir to get it all combined, the cool vegetables will finish bringing down the temperature.
Add the lemon juice, lime juice, vinegar and oil and mix to combine. Taste and season with salt & pepper as necessary. You can also nix all the dressing components and use a cup or so of Red Wine Vinaigrette from this post instead. That is also what I used to moisten it back up the next day, the couscous will soak up the dressing as it sits so add more dressing as necessary.
This holds for a few days in the fridge after it made, but the vegetables will get softer as it sits, but kind of like pasta salad that isn’t really an awful thing. Some olives would be excellent added in to this, as would some crumbled feta or diced provolone. Have fun with it! For sure more interesting than plain old pasta salad and definitely room to personalize.