Couscous Salad with Cucumber and Tomatoes

My favorite summer salad! Be sure to use Israeli or pearled couscous — it’s the bigger and tastier version of the conventional kind.  Cool and refreshing!

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INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous (pearled couscous)
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, to taste (I usually split the lemon juice with white wine vinegar — 3 tablespoons lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar)
  • 1 cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
  • ½ pound ripe tomatoes, very finely chopped
  • ¾ pound cucumbers (1 European or 4 Persian), seeded if using regular cucumbers, cut in fine dice
  • 1 bunch scallions, finely chopped, or 1/4 cup chopped chives, or thinly sliced red onion
  •  Salt to taste

Tastes great with crumbled feta cheese!

PREPARATION

  1. Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan and add the couscous. Stir until the couscous begins to color and smell toasty, 4 to 5 minutes. Add 2 cups water and salt to taste and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes, or until the couscous is tender. Drain if any liquid remains in the pan.
  2. Transfer the couscous to a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice, parsley, mint, tomatoes, cucumbers, scallions or chives and salt to taste. Add the olive oil, toss together, taste and adjust seasonings. Serve over with lettuce leaves.

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