Nicoise Style Couscous Salad

When I'm looking for a salad beyond the usual salad bar toppings, I tend to order Nicoise salad. It's a French salad that includes tuna, olives, onions, green beans and a hard boiled egg. Instead of using lettuce for this dish, it called for couscous - a great alternative to make for a heartier salad. I thought the recipe was okay, but it was lacking something... not sure what. Fellow What's Cookin, Chicago readers weren't wowed by the recipe either...

Nicoise Style Couscous Salad
recipe adapted from Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2001

1 1/2 cups (2-inch) french green beans
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
3 cans of tuna packed in water
Cooking spray
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
1 cup uncooked couscous
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup chopped tomato
1/3 cup coarsely chopped pitted kalamata or Nicoise olives
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 hard-cooked large egg, cut into 4 wedges

Steam beans, covered, 7 minutes.

Bring chicken broth 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.

Combine 1/8 teaspoon salt, lemon juice, oil, and pepper in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add beans, tuna, couscous, tomato, olives, onion, and parsley; toss gently. Top each serving with an egg wedge.


"I liked it because it had a variety of ingredients that balanced well , which gave a nice contrast to the couscous. Additionally, I like the hard-boiled egg in the salad. If I were to make this dish/recipe better, I would add a finely chopped Serrano pepper (pepper amount depending on how many servings you are making) and supplement the olives with extra virgin olive oil. Supplementing the olives would give richness and smoothness while creating a twist with the Nicoise style of salad." ~ Samm


"Of the recipes I've tried in this set, this was probably my least favorite because I found the taste of certain ingredients very overpowering. Specifically, I thought that the olives and peppers provided a very strong taste that made it difficult to enjoy the salad. I thought that if I could do something different to make this salad better, I would eliminate one of the more overpowering ingredients in order to eliminate the multiple overpowering tastes. " - Kevin


"I tried the Nicoise Style Couscous Salad which was appetizing, but felt there was more tuna than needed which took away from the couscous in the Couscous Salad." - Laurel

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