Mediterranean Couscous Salad

My husband is a maverick shopper. I feel like when he food shops he envisions himself as the host of the “Chopped” cooking show on the Food Network, and thinks: “How can I challenge Sarah to make a dinner with seemingly random ingredients?” This week’s random ingredient was the kumato tomato, otherwise known as the brown tomato. This is an ingredient that I had never cooked with — let alone ate prior to his purchase. (He found the Kumato at Whole Foods).

brown tomato

I am not a big fan of tomatoes. (I usually use fresh tomatoes for cooking spaghetti sauces or for pizza toppings,  and rarely do I enjoy a tomato plain– as  on a salad or sandwich.  But the kumato tomato is surprisingly delicious. It is sweeter than a typical tomato, which balances the tartness of the typical red tomato. The discovery of the kumato tomato has made me enjoy eating tomatoes fresh on salads– and the kumato tomato gives this Mediterranean Couscous Salad a slightly sweet and refreshing flavor profile

roma and brown tomato
Comparison of Roma and Kumato (brown) tomato

A healthy side dish or even as a meatless main dish for the hot summer months is Mediterranean Couscous salad. Equally healthy and delicious, this salad hits the spot on those hot summer evenings when turning on the oven is the last thing you want to do.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Israeli couscous (I used whole wheat found at uncommon market)
  • 1 cup pinto beans (I used dry beans with the quick cook method, but canned beans would work too)
  • 2 brown tomatoes chopped
  • 1 Roma tomato, chopped
  • 1 red pepper chopped
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 1/2 English cucumber sliced in half and then quartered
  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • 1 lemon squeezed
  • Montreal steak seasoning (I used a few shakes from the shaker)
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Cook beans according to package directions. And separately cook couscous according to package directions. When finished cooking, cool beans and couscous in refrigerator.
  2. Chop all vegetables into bite sized pieces. (I left spinach leaves as is.) Combine vegetables with couscous and beans. Add in seasonings and lemon juice, toss to combine. Sample with a tasting spoon and adjust seasonings as desired.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes prior to serving.

You can serve this salad as is, or you can add garnishes and sauces for added flavor. As an add on, I offer an array of shredded cheeses for toppings usually–cheddar, mozzarella and Parmesan.

I also make a honey mustard vinaigrette that can be drizzled on each individual serving or added to the salad as a whole.

Additionally if you want to add spice to this salad, you can add a chopped jalapeno pepper or sprinkle with cayenne pepper. You can also add 1/4 to 1/2 red onion finely chopped– to give the salad a stronger flavor.

couscous salad

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette Recipe

  • 3 Tbsp of  honey
  • 3 Tbsp of mustard
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon squeezed
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl with a whisk, Add additional honey or oil as desired to balance vinegar flavor.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, feel free to adjust the recipe as your tastes dictate and I would love to hear about your success with this recipe and other recipes in the kitchen.

 

 

 

 

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