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Author Notes: I don’t know about you, but the lunch hour of my dreams rarely happens in a typical work-week. Rush-rushing all morning long usually means I’ll have one hand holding a half-sandwich while the other hand types. If by chance the day goes well and the sun is bright and the stars line up, I like to find a quiet spot outside to balance this bowl of spring’s bounty on my lap. Add a nice hunk of chabatta bread on the side, maybe even a good book or magazine, and you’ve got a lunch break envied by secretaries the world over.
The best thing about this salad is the ease of preparation and the infinite combinations of bottom-of-the-fridge and kitchen-sink ingredients you can use. I’ve even been known to toss diced red bell peppers into the mix. My only recommendation is to not substitute the green onions and goat cheese. They really do give this salad the exceptional Mediterranean flavor that I love. Make it in springtime when herbs and onions emerge, then make it again in the summer when tomatoes are sweet and plump.
Serves 3 to 4
- 1 cup plain pearlized couscous
- 2.5 cups water
- 1/3 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 green onions, finely chopped (both white and green parts)
- 5 basil leaves, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half or thirds
- 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced in half
- 3/4 cups crumbled goat cheese
- Place the water, 1 Tbs olive oil, and the couscous in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Drain the couscous and run under cold water to stop the cooking process and prevent sticking. Drain well again.
- Place the drained couscous in a medium sized bowl and add the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir well to coat the couscous in the oil.
- Add all of the remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Taste for additional seasoning if needed.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Spring Alliums