Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Whole Wheat Cous Cous Salad


I have been eating a boat-load of quinoa lately.  Ever go through stages like that?  I love, love, love it, but I decided that it was time to change things up and use something slightly different.... whole wheat cous cous!  I know, I'm getting wild!

Over the weekend we headed up north to stay at our friends lake house.  I love weekends at a lake, it is so fun to be out on the boat, the water is so refreshing and it feels so good to be out in the sun.  While we were out boating a friend and I were deep in conversation over quinoa.  {Obviously, what else would you talk about while boating?}  She told me about a recipe that she uses all the time and I had to try it.  This is my version, but with whole wheat cous cous.

Whole wheat cous cous is actually a very easy ingredient to use - it cooks in only 5 minutes.  The same as regular cous cous.  The only difference is the healthy whole grains.  Well, technically cous cous is actually a very tiny pasta, but it still works extremely well for a side dish or the base of a salad like this one!
 

For this salad I used heirloom cherry tomatoes from the farmers market.  Not only are they so pretty to look at and they taste almost sweet.  Crunchy english cucumbers are added with salty feta cheese.  A little bit of extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and parsley tie the dish together.  Don't skip the parsely!! It definitely adds a lot to the dish.   I found the dish to taste the best cold, though I also think it works at room temperature.  Overall, this salad is perfect on it's own for lunch, or as a side dish at dinner.  Do you have a favorite whole grain dish?  I'd love to hear about it!

Ingredients

1 cup of uncooked whole wheat cous cous
1/2 of an english cucumber, peeled, sliced and quartered
1 cup of heirloom cherry tomatoes, cut in halves or quarters
3 tbsp of chopped parsley
1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
juice from 1/2 a lemon
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Method

In a medium sauce pot, combine 1 cup of whole wheat cous cous with 1 cup of water.  Bring to a boil, cover and remove from heat.  Let sit for 5 minutes then fluff with a fork.  If serving right away chill cous cous in the freezer, or let it come to room temperature.

In a large glass bowl, combine chilled cous cous, tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley and feta cheese.  Mix together.  Lastly, add olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Give everything a final toss.  The great thing about this salad is it is still versitile - you can make this ahead of time, make a big batch for lunches, or eat right away!  Enjoy!

This recipe is also a contribution to the Food Matters Project!  This week, Sarah from Simply Whole Kitchen hosted Quinoa Tabbouleh.  Since I am on a quinoa overload, this is my take :)  Check out what other bloggers did here.

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