Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Caprese Couscous Salad

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Caprese salad (mozzarella, fresh basil and tomato) is one of my favorites. Not only is it colorful, but delicious too, especially when tossed with a balsamic vinaigrette. Why not take the same flavors of a traditional caprese salad and incorporate couscous in the mix? This was a delicious spin on caprese salad, making it a great side dish or an meal in itself.

Caprese Couscous Salad
recipe adapted from Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2001


2 cups diced tomato
3/4 cup (3 ounces) diced fresh mozzarella cheese
3 tablespoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup uncooked couscous
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Basil leaves (optional)

Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl; cover and marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes.

Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually stir in couscous. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork; cool. Add couscous and fresh basil to tomato mixture; toss gently. Garnish with basil leaves, if desired.


Samm

I liked this dish because it was innovative, a great experimental spin on the caprese salad. If I were to make this, I would marinate the tomatoes in balsamic vinegar with coarse kosher salt for a few hours, then strain and take them out of the vinegar and add to the salad. Additionally, I would make the chunks of tomato and mozzarella bigger in size, and add more fresh basil to emphasize how explosive these ingredients are when brought together. I would encourage others to make this salad. This is a great idea! It is perfect for summer! I love the way cheese and couscous come together. ~ Samm


Kevin

"I liked this salad because it was very hearty. I loved the addition of cheese to the couscous. I just could not get enough of this salad as the combination of flavors were so perfect together. For me, I found the tomatoes and red onions to add a refreshing and nostalgic touch to this dish. This salad reminded me a lot of something my great grandmother would make between the scent and flavors of the tomatoes with red onion. The only thing I would reccommend doing differently would be to possibly use olive oil or someting to keep the couscous from clumping together. Aside from that, I think this was my favorite couscous salad of the three because of the overall quality and the familiar tastes." - Kevin


Laurel
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"Let me tell you the Caprese Couscous Salad was the first one I tried and I wish I had more of it, because it was a two salad’s in one – a Caprese salad with yummy mozzarella and cherry tomatoes and a delightful couscous salad – this is a dish you could serve at any potluck dinner and make the guests content" - Laurel

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