Friday, July 26, 2013

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

This salad is bursting with fresh herbs that scream "SUMMER!" I've mentioned before that I'm a terrible gardener, but I manage to keep a little pot of herbs alive on my back porch. My mint and basil plants are growing like gangbusters; this is the perfect way to keep my crop at bay.

If you've never had Israeli couscous, it's high time you give it a try. The little pearls of pasta are larger and a little bit chewier than regular old couscous. It's different and fun and brings some pizzazz to the dinner table. And who doesn't want more pizzazz at the table?

Mediterranean Couscous Salad
Adapted from The Food Network
Serves lots!

5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 pound Israeli couscous
3 cups chicken (or vegetable) broth
2 lemons, divided
Salt and pepper
1 cup chopped basil
1/2 cup chopped mint
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a saucepan over medium. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in couscous and cook until toasted and lightly browned, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add broth and juice from one lemon and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the couscous is tender, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain any remaining liquid. (There might not be much excess.)

In a large bowl, toss the cooked couscous with remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, zest and juice of the remaining lemon, and salt and pepper to taste. Let cool to room temperature then stir in fresh herbs, cranberries, and almonds.

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