Summer is just around the corner and that means it’s time for camping trips, picnics in the park, hikes, outdoor barbeques and a general feeling that life is good, and nothing is more important than spending time with your family and friends. And when it comes to cooking during this beautiful time of year, we want things that are easy, delicious, healthy, and can travel easily on your hike or to a picnic or barbeque. I kicked off this beautiful season with a Memorial Day Birthday barbeque for my boyfriend’s one-year-old nephew. Which was adorable and so much fun! To compliment all of the delicious grilled chicken, fish, steak, corn and veggies, I decided to show up with a salad that would taste great with everything. And as much as I love a perfectly grilled steak, I often find that the side dishes are what steal the show at a barbeque. This Mediterranean couscous salad was a huge hit! It is the perfect go-to summer salad. It’s healthy and light, while still being well-rounded and satisfying. It would be the perfect addition to a picnic spread, or packed for lunch on a hike.
Mediterranean Couscous Salad
- 2 cups dry Israeli couscous
- 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinse
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus a few sprigs for garnish
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1 large European cucumber, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed in a mortar and pestle
- kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
Cook couscous according to package instructions and let cool. In a large bowl, combine chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes, parsley, onions, and couscous. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper until combined. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat. Add the crumbled feta and toss to combine. Garnish with a spring of parsley and serve.