Tag Archives: couscous

Mediterranean Inspired Couscous salad

Mediterranean (inspired?) Couscous Salad


–Broth or water
–Tomatoes (cherry, grape, heirloom, whatever you like)
–Crumbled feta cheese (small mozzarella balls work too!)
–Fresh basil
–Pitted Kalamata olives
–Lemon juice
–Balsamic vinegar
–Minced garlic
–Olive Oil

You might notice a severe lack of measurements. Yeah, about that… I just kinda eye-ball this kind of stuff. Sorry.


  1. Cook the couscous. 1 cup of dry couscous to every 1 to 1.5 cups of liquid.
    1. In a saucepan, bring your choice of liquid to a boil.
    2. Stir in dry couscous.
    3. Turn off the heat and put a lid on the pan. Let it steam for 5-10 minutes.
    4. Fluff with a fork.
    5. Let it cool.
  2. While your couscous is steaming, cut your tomatoes into small pieces. Or not. If you like whole cherry/grape tomatoes, go for it. I would recommend dicing if you’re using regulation sized tomatoes, though.
  3. Slice your olives. Halves, quarters, whatever. Or not. Like ’em whole? Leave ’em whole!
  4. Slice your fresh basil into small ribbons (a chiffonade if you want to get all fancy French with it). You don’t want to use tons because it will overwhelm everything. Just enough for some flavor and color.
  5. Add your tomatoes, feta, olives and basil to a bowl
  6. In another bowl, add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt and garlic. Whisk until everything is combined to make a basic dressing. Taste your mix. Not enough acid? Add more lemon juice or vinegar. You don’t need much. Maybe start with a tablespoon of each liquid then add more or less to suit your needs. IF YOU WANT: marinate the tomatoes, cheese, olives and basil in the dressing for 30 minutes.
  7. Combine your cooled couscous, tomatoes, feta, olives, and basil.
  8. If you didn’t marinate, now is the time to drizzle some of the dressing onto your salad. Combine gently.
  9. Taste it! Add more dressing or whatever until it tastes the way you want it to.

Optional additions: Chicken, red peppers, broccoli, etc. Don’t like couscous? Have a ton of quinoa because you keep forgetting that you’re out of couscous? Use it instead! Play with it. Have fun.

Sunday Eats

So I lied. Weekly? That was apparently too much work. And so are pictures. Sorry.

Anyway, May 19th eats: salmon filets (HEB), couscous made with beef broth and a dash of Ms. Dash (bulk, HEB), yellow waxy and green beans (Greenling.com), and *drumroll* English Toasting Bread.

Salmon: a squirt of lime juice, a teaspoon of Lia Marie’s garlic butter, light sprinkling of salt. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. Perfect. Moist. Awesome.Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeezy.

Couscous: boil a cup and a half of broth or water, add one cup of couscous, put a lid on it, turn off the heat,  and let sit for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork. Done. Don’t but the pre-boxed, pre-flavored stuff. It’s not worth it. Buy it in bulk. Easiest side dish you’ve ever made.

Fresh green and yellow waxy beans: bring a couple of quarts of water to boil. Add beans (you did remember to rinse and trim the bad bits, yes?). Cook for 3 minutes. Green beans will turn a beautiful bright green. THIS IS GOOD. turn off heat, drain, immediately chill in ice water to stop the cooking and drain. Gotta preserve that color. Right before serving, melt a bit of butter in a pan and toss the beans until heated through. Nice buttery coating.

English Toasting Bread: I love this bread. I get it from HEB or Central Market (depending on where I am). My HEB does not stock it regularly and Central Market has one of the worst freaking parking lots ever. So I decided to see if I can make this lovely bread on my own. I can.King Arthur Flour has a pretty nice recipe. I might need to cut the salt a bit. There’s not a lot of salt but it still felt too salty for me. I think I could tweak it a bit.

King Arthur Flour English Toasting Bread

1) Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and instant yeast in a large mixing bowl.

2) Combine the milk, water, and oil in a separate, microwave-safe bowl, and heat to between 120°F and 130°F. Be sure to stir the liquid well before measuring its temperature; you want an accurate reading. If you don’t have a thermometer, the liquid will feel quite hot (hotter than lukewarm), but not so hot that it would be uncomfortable as bath water.

3) Pour the hot liquid over the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl.

4) Beat at high speed for 1 minute. The dough will be very soft.

5) Lightly grease an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan, and sprinkle the bottom and sides with cornmeal.

6) Scoop the soft dough into the pan, leveling it in the pan as much as possible.

7) Cover the pan, and let the dough rise till it’s just barely crowned over the rim of the pan. When you look at the rim of the pan from eye level, you should see the dough, but it shouldn’t be more than, say, 1/4″ over the rim. This will take about 45 minutes to 1 hour, if you heated the liquid to the correct temperature and your kitchen isn’t very cold (edit: and if your flour didn’t come straight from the freezer. Like mine. Mental note: warm the flour or let it sit at room temp before using). While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 400°F.

8 )  Remove the cover, and bake the bread for 22 to 27 minutes, till it’s golden brown and its interior temperature is 190°F.

9) Remove the bread from the oven, and after 5 minutes turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. Let the bread cool completely before slicing.

Yield: 1 (deliciously awesome) loaf.