Jun 12, 2009

couscous spinach salad

When recently asked to bring a salad to a birthday party, a friend and I put our heads together to come up with something similar to this version of a couscous and spinach salad. It is easy, yet hearty and full of nutritional benefits (i.e. lots of veggies, and greens). And it can be adapted easily to a number of different kinds of vegetables depending on what's in season.

I think spinach works well for this salad but unfortunately could not find it at the Farmer's Market, so I used a bag of organic spinach from the store. The remainder of the veggies (carrots, peppers, celery, and onion) are all from the Farmer's Market. As well as the tomatoes, which were left over from the pizza I made earlier in the week. Also I picked up some Kalamata Olives from The Pasta Shop, a wonderful little gourmet food store with several locations in the East Bay.

Recipe for Israeli Couscous Spinach Salad

1 bag organic spinach
1 carrot, chopped
2 medium bell peppers, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 and 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup Kalamata olives, halved and seeded
1 and 1/3 cups Israeli Couscous*
Salt and Pepper
Vinaigrette for dressing

Cook the couscous according to the directions on the packaging, or if buying in bulk use approximately 1 and 1/3 cups couscous to every 1 and 3/4 cups water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 12 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Once cooked let couscous sit until room temperature before mixing it with the salad.

Wash the spanich and drain well, placing in a large salad bowl. Add the chopped veggies, carrot through olives to the top of the salad. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Once the couscous is at room temperature mix it in with the rest of the salad. Top with the vinaigrette dressing, mixing the salad well and serve.

Alison's Notes:
Israeli Couscous is a larger pearl couscous that is about half the size of a pea. I liked using this couscous as it gave a different texture to the salad. I've found this couscous in the bulk or pasta section at many stores. When my friend and I originally made the salad we used Quinoa, a seed similar to traditional couscous with high nutritional value.

(photography by: alison clayshulte)


Steph Bond @ Bondville said...

Wow - I bet this went down a treat! Looks like it would be great for vegans too.

Antonella said...

Hi Alison. Julie forwarded me the link to your blog...it looks GREAT! Thought you might enjoy this and wanted to share: www.davidlebovitz.com

Alison said...

Steph, yes, it was quite yummy. All the vibrant colors made it an easy salad to sell. Oh and it would be perfect for vegans - great idea!

Antonella, thanks so much for your kind words. I will be sure to check out the David Lebovitz site, thanks for sharing!

Patricia said...

I made this yesterday and it was delicious! I didn't end up using the chicken in the recipe but had it on the side.

Alison said...

P that's awesome, I'm so glad it turned out for you. I'm sure the chicken was a nice addition on the side!