My last blog post promised the recipe for this salad, which is a new addition to my make-ahead dishes this summer. As you read in the last blog post, my summer salads have included, rice, various types of pasta and potato salads. These are the basis of being able to make delicious, complete weekday meals with little prep and clean up.
On Father’s Day, we attended an extended family party at R & E’s house. They had a delicious couscous salad with a lemony dressing. I immediately fell in love with it and thought I should make my own version of this. I normally use vinegars in my dressings, so using lemon is a nice change of flavour. Athough I have used lemon as part of a salad dressing before, it’s not a go-to for me, so having the salad at R & E’s house, was a good reminder for me of this alternative.
When it comes to salads, there is no right and wrong…you can add any vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds or herbs that you enjoy and it will taste great. There is not much need for a recipe for making salads, so I offer mine only as a guide for you to start out and create your own dish. I usually just peek in the fridge to see what I have on hand and start there. On the day I created this couscous salad for the first time, we had carrots, peppers, and green onions on hand, so I thought that would make a lovely taste and colour combination with the lemony couscous. I have also been experimenting with making my own roasted chickpeas and I had some on hand, so I tossed them in. They provided a nutty flavour, and crunchy texture.
I did use fresh lemon juice for this since it was one of the main ingredients. If you are in a rush, give it a try with bottled lemon juice and let me know how it goes! I also used a lemon zester to get lovely thin ribbons of lemon rind. It added great flavour and colour, and it didn’t feel as though you were biting into lemon rind.
Although I believe that a salad is just a combination of wonderfully balanced fresh ingriedients that should not require a recipe, there are a few things I’ve learned along the way when creating these grain/starch based salads that may be helpful tips for you:
- dress the rice, potato, couscous, pasta, quinoa, salad while it’s still warm to hot. The dressing will be absorbed and you won’t have to adjust the dressing before serving. (This is a tip I learned from Tim, a local chef and friend who has catered a number of large events for us. It has made a world of difference for me! Thanks Tim!)
- let the dressed grains, pasta cool before adding the vegetables and fresh herbs. This will prevent the vegetables from cooking and the herbs from wilting and browning
- never, ever use a bottled dressing…there is way too much of things you don’t need…salt, sugar, multisyllabic things you don’t understand! Just use two parts quality oil and one part acidity, such as vinegars, lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice, tomato juice, salt, pepper and herbs. You can even make this ahead in a jar or bottle and have your own ready to go dressing. In a pich, just dress your salad with a sprinkle of good quality olive oil and a squirt of lemon….It’s miles ahead of any bottled dressing you can find on any level…take the few minutes i takes to make a homemade dressing rather than opting for a ready-made product that has all kinds of things you don’t need – or want! These are things I learned from my Mom growing up and still prove to be true today!
Happy cooking, fellow ‘everydayhomegourmet’ friends…please share your comments and tips!
Variations: Use any vegetables or herbs you like! Tips: Using a lemon zester will give you lovely thin ribbons of lemon rind. Also, if you have leftovers, the roasted chickpeas will soften overnight for the next serving and will still taste delicious. recipe by: everydayhomegourmet.blog/
Lemon Couscous Salad
Variations: Use any vegetables or herbs you like!
Tips: Using a lemon zester will give you lovely thin ribbons of lemon rind. Also, if you have leftovers, the roasted chickpeas will soften overnight for the next serving and will still taste delicious.
recipe by: everydayhomegourmet.blog/