My favorite recipe of the summer? A Food Network magazine salad recipe that I tore out of the magazine months, maybe even a year, ago.
I was digging around recently, looking for something easy that could fill out a cookout menu when I came across it again.
Yes, the ingredient list looks a little long (but it really isn’t). Yes, Israeli couscous sounds exotic (but it really isn’t).
Even better? It’s not only easy to make, you can do it in advance. You’ll end up with leftovers that work great in a lunchbox for several days. You’ll have leftover Green Goddess dressing, just begging to be tossed on green salads or drizzled over sliced tomatoes.
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It’s filling enough that it could be a vegetarian meal if you skip the anchovies in the dressing. (But if you’re not a vegetarian, don’t skip them: They add a deep but not fishy flavor element to the herbs in the dressing.)
For the grilled vegetables, you could make them one night for salad the next night, or use a grill pan on the stove, which is what I did. Or you could skip that and just saute them in a hot skillet. Versatility: I love that in a recipe.
Seriously, you need to add this one to the lineup for the rest of the summer. The combination of soft Israeli couscous, which has much bigger grains than regular couscous, Green Goddess dressing and grilled vegetables is delicious together, and the taste is lively enough that you won’t get bored with the leftovers after one serving.
Couscous Salad With Green Goddess Dressing
From Food Network Magazine. Look for Israeli couscous with the other grains like quinoa and cousous. The beads are much bigger than regular couscous.
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon
2 anchovy fillets, patted dry (you can freeze the rest of the can)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon capers
Juice of 1 lemon
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup Israeli couscous
3 tablespoons good-quality olive oil, divided
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 red bell peppers, halved lengthwise (discard the stem, core and seeds)
1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Make the dressing: Combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, parsley, chives and tarragon in a blender or food processor. Add the anchovies, garlic, capers, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Puree until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use. (You’ll only need 3/4 cup; save the rest for another salad.)
Bring a pot of salted water to boil, add the couscous and cook about 8 minutes, until just tender. Drain in a colander and place in a large bowl. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Place the red onion in a small bowl and cover with hot water; let stand at least 10 minutes.
Place the peppers and zucchini in a bowl and toss with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a little more pepper. Heat a grill, grill pan or heavy skillet to medium high heat. Grill or sear the vegetables, turning occasionally, until well marked and tender. Move to a plate or small pan and cool to room temperature. Dice the peppers and slice the zucchini into half-moons. Add to the couscous.
Drain the onion and the chickpeas and add to the salad. Add 3/4 cup of the dressing and toss thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings.