Picnic-Perfect Couscous in a Curry: Mediterranean Couscous Salad

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

Easy summer salads are a must in my household. This Mediterranean Couscous Salad packs a flavorful punch, plus it’s nutritious and so easy to prepare! Like pasta and rice, couscous makes a delicious base for a salad. Couscous salads can easily be made in advance – plus they hold well, making them picnic-perfect. I used Near East Mediterranean Curry Mix for convenience (it already has the curry seasonings as well as sweet carrots and peas). If you can’t find Mediterranean couscous, use whole-wheat couscous and add 1 tablespoon ground curry powder (my favorite is Penzeys Sweet Curry Powder), 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon granulated sugar.

Place couscous and cherries or cranberries in a large bowl.  Add boiling water along with apple juice. The secret to this recipe is the apple juice. Apple complements curry so well; it adds just the right amount of sweetness, so don’t skip this step! Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

Mediterranean Couscous Salad - Preparing Couscous

I wanted complementary flavors and textures in every bite, so I added nuts for crunch. If you don’t like nuts, add a little chopped celery. Tip: Toasting the nuts really brings out their flavor, so this is another step you don’t want to skip. Since a small amount of nuts are used, they can be toasted in a medium, dry skillet over medium heat. Be sure to keep stirring them until toasted, about 3-8 minutes total (if you’re toasting a lot of nuts, you’ll want to do it in the oven. To do this, place the nuts on a baking sheet and toast them in a preheated 350 degree oven, stirring every 2 minutes, for a total of 5-10 minutes).

Mediterranean Couscous Salad - Toasting Nuts

Stir in green onions, oil, parsley and lemon juice. Season with ground black pepper. Serve at room temperature or chilled and enjoy.

Mediterranean Couscous Salad - Ready to Eat

Links:

Related summer salad recipes:

Apple Quinoa Salad recipe
Apple Quinoa Salad
Tuscan Tortellini & Melon Salad recipe
Tuscan Tortellini & Melon Salad

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