This versatile summer couscous salad is perfect for picnics and barbecues or paired with chicken or grilled shrimp for a tasty main course meal.
I have few Food Network chefs I’d call my faves, my go-to recipe crafters.
Of the bunch, those I keep coming back to have simple, easy-to-follow, flavor-rich recipes that aren’t fussy and overwhelming.
They fit in with our family’s busy lifestyle, and typically don’t use off the wall ingredients that require an extra trip to the grocery store.
These are the chefs that top my list:
1. Alton Brown
His matter-of-fact way to talking about food and recipes are one big reason I have a passion for cooking myself. Love him!
2. Ina Garten
No one makes you want to live in the Hamptons more than Ina. Her easy-going manner is catchy, and her recipes (while seemingly fancy) are always simple to pull together.
3. Alex Guarnaschelli
No frills, sensible ingredients and perfect seasoning. Love it.
4. Tyler Florence
I might appreciate the sage green subway tile in his studio kitchen just as much as his cooking style!
5. Giada De Laurentiis
Her recipes, both classic recipes and those she’s given an Italian twist, are many of my go-tos!
And speaking of Giada, I’ve been making a version of her Mediterranean Salad for a couple of years now.
I’ve tweaked it to work for my vegetarian friends and family, I’ve used pomegranate arils in place of dried cranberries, I’ve substituted lime zest and lime juice for the lemon, and I’ve added grilled shrimp or chicken to transform it from a side salad to a main dish.
The possibilities seem endless!
- 1 8.8-ounce box Israeli couscous
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 3 limes (zested and juiced)
- 1/4 lime juice (supplement with bottled if you don't get enough fresh-squeezed)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil (chopped)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Add 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to a medium sauce pan and then place it over medium heat to warm for 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and let it cook for 1 minute, followed by the couscous. Cook the couscous for 5 minutes, stirring often until it's lightly browned.
- Carefully pour the chicken broth in all at once, and then add 1/8 cup of the lime juice and bring it to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and then simmer until the couscous is al dente - about 9 minutes.
- Mix the cooked couscous, remaining olive oil, another 1/8 cup of lime juice, the zest, salt and pepper in a large bowl and then let it cool completely in the refrigerator.
- Once cool, toss in the cranberries, almonds and herbs. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Easily make this recipe vegetarian by substituting vegetable broth for the chicken broth!
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