We made this recipe for our Father’s Day picnic and it was delicious. It uses simple ingredients and you don’t have to worry about any salad leaf mixtures getting soggy or wilting if you make it in advance. If you would like a Gluten-Free option, simply use Quinoa instead of couscous. The recipe was inspired by one found on nuts.com in their healthy snack section but some ingredients were omitted and altered.
3 cups uncooked couscous
2 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
1-2 red onions, chopped
2 cucumber, diced
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1-2 oz fresh parsley, chopped
1-2 oz fresh mint, chopped- optional
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
First, make the couscous according to the directions- it is quite similar to making rice (equal parts couscous & water/broth). If you can do it the night before, that is wonderful. If not, be sure to give yourself enough time in advance to make it so you allow it to cool enough, (usually 20-30 minutes). Optional: I added a few Tbsp of Olive Oil to the couscous once it was done cooking to help break it up and keep it separated- be sure to stir it lightly but fully.
While the couscous is cooling, combine the rest of the ingredients, except for the olive oil and vinegar, in a large bowl. When the couscous has cooled, add it to the bowl, along with the oil and vinegar. Toss all of the ingredients together and store it covered in the fridge until it’s ready to be served. It can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days.
The good thing about this salad is you can withhold or add ingredients depending on the taste preference of who you are serving it to. For example, if someone does not enjoy onions, you can simply keep them in a separate container and add them to individual bowls later. We also added cranberries for those who enjoy the taste and it was a nice addition.