LuAnn's Family Favorites Recipes

LuAnn's Summer Couscous-Vegetable Salad

This is the perfect springtime-summer salad...a beautiful, satisfying and nutritious meal in itself that requires virtually no cooking (only a quick dip in boiling water for the asparagus)! Don’t be put off by the long ingredient list – the preparation goes quickly and the resulting salad is well worth any effort. The recipe makes a lot; but the leftovers are delicious.The salad is most flavorful if allowed to chill for several hours before serving.

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Ingredients

Salad

  • 2 cups tomato juice OR vegetable cocktail juice
  • 2 cups uncooked fine white or whole wheat couscous (see Note)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested then juiced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 4 to 5 green onions (white and green parts), thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata OR Spanish pimiento-stuffed (Manzanilla) olives, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon capers, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced celery
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved crosswise
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
  • 1 large red pepper OR roasted red pepper, diced
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed, cut in 1 inch lengths, then blanched or lightly steamed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped OR 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 large bunch cilantro, thick stems discarded, then remaining finer stems and leaves chopped (1 to 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup roasted and salted (or raw) sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup roasted and salted (or raw) pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • Black pepper to taste, freshly ground

Accompaniment (optional)

Any combination of baby lettuce leaves, spinach or mixed greens, washed and spun (or patted) dry

IInstructions

  1. In a small saucepan, bring the tomato juice to just below a boil over over medium heat.
  2. Meanwhile, place the couscous in a large mixing bowl. Pour the heated tomato juice over the couscous. Stir in the olive oil. Allow to stand for 10 to 15 minutes or until the couscous has absorbed the liquid and is tender.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the remaining ingredients and set aside.
  4. When the couscous is ready, add the prepared ingredients in the order listed, stirring gently after each addition.
  5. Cover the salad and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  6. To serve: Simply transfer chilled salad to a pretty serving bowl or spoon individual servings on to beds of prepared greens.

Notes

For added depth of flavor, combine the uncooked couscous and olive oil in a skillet, then stir gently over medium heat until the couscous is golden brown

Attribution

Recipe by LuAnn Bermeo, author of Amazing Meals I and II, a two-volume collection of family-approved, plant-based recipes; loosely adapted from roofscapemagazine.com.



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