Mediterranean Couscous Salad from Karista’s Kitchen

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Today we are welcoming Karista Bennett from Karista’s Kitchen!

Karista is not only a chef and a culinary instructor (for you Seattle-lites, she teaches at PCC Natural Markets!) but a lover of all things natural and one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. She never compromises on taste and has a keen way of making boldly-spiced, healthy food that seems indulgent and rich. 

Like both Hannah and I, Karista lives in WA as well. Since we are all (clearly!) craving the warm sunny days of summer, Karista decided to share a wonderfully simple-to-make Couscous Salad that screams of warmer months.  I am not-so-secretly hoping that the Northwest weather gods take this as yet another sign that sunny days should come here earlier this year. Happy Monday :)

—————–

I feel a bit of spring in the air.  Although there’s still a chilly breeze outside and gray-blue skies overhead, I’m beginning to hear the songbirds sing outside my window, and the trees that shade my garden in summer are beginning to bud.

I’m most excited about this new season of produce.  Winter’s bounty has been grand, but I’m beginning to crave the season’s change of fruits and vegetables.

Just as the winter season begins to fade, I start preparing the Bennett Crew’s favorite couscous salad.  I have to confess, I have a difficult time making this dish without eating half of it before it gets to the table. I’m not the only one guilty of this habit.  If I don’t keep an eye on the couscous salad, my Bennett Crew will meander through the kitchen and sneak bites when I’m not looking.

This is my “go to” salad for our summer barbecue’s. It pairs beautifully with grilled meats, fish, poultry and especially grilled veggies.  I often make this salad on the weekend and keep it in the frig during the week for lunches, and the occasional before dinner snack.

Filled with spring peas, sun dried tomatoes, feta cheese and fresh mint, this salad is refreshing and filling, with the clean, fresh flavors of spring and summer.  Just to change it up a bit, sometimes I’ll add a splash of lemon, a handful of capers and a few Greek olives.

However you decide to prepare it, this salad will make a beautifully delicious addition to your spring and summer menu.

Bon Appétit!

Karista

Karista’s Kitchen

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Mediterranean Couscous Salad from www.KaristasKitchen.comMeal Ideas + NOTES:

  • Add leftover chopped roasted or grilled chicken to your couscous salad to make a delicious and healthy lunch or dinner.
  • For something different, try fresh basil in place of the fresh mint, and pair it with fresh mozzarella in lieu of the feta.
  • Add in a handful of rinsed capers, sliced Greek olives and a splash of lemon.
  • If you’d like to substitute the couscous with quinoa, or you are using bulk couscous, use 2-3 cups cooked quinoa/couscous and then add 1 clove garlic, minced with a tablespoon or two of extra virgin olive oil and fresh chopped oregano or Italian parsley and a splash of lemon. Continue with the remaining ingredients and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • From Alyssa: I used 1 cup plain, dry couscous to figure out the Points Plus value for this dish so please be sure to adjust as needed if you use the Near East box mix.
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Mediterranean Couscous Salad from Karista's Kitchen
 
Prep:
Cook:
Total:
 
9 Points Plus Per Serving -- Serves 6
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 package Couscous* (I prefer Near East brand) parmesan and garlic or pine nut and herbs (Equivalent to 1 cup dry, plain couscous)
  • 1 ½ cups frozen baby peas (organic tastes best)
  • 1 Jar (about 1 Cup) sun dried tomatoes in olive oil and herbs, coarsely chopped
  • ¾ Cup feta cheese, crumbled (or more if you like)
  • ¼ - ½ Cup fresh mint, coarsely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Splash of fresh lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Cook the Couscous and let it cool slightly.
  2. Fluff with a fork and place the couscous into a large mixing bowl. Add the frozen peas and toss with the warm couscous.
  3. Next, drain most of the oil, but not all, from the sun dried tomatoes and then add tomatoes and remaining olive oil to the couscous, lightly toss.
  4. Add the feta, mint, pinch of salt, pepper and splash of fresh lemon, tossing once more. Taste for seasoning adding more salt and pepper if needed.
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Comments

  1. says

    This is my kind of go to salad! Great alone and as you mentioned a base for the leftover proteins in the fridge. Look forward to perusing your blog world here.
    cheers from Orcas Island… wendy

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Wendy! I have yet to make it to Orcas but I have only heard good things and can’t wait to get there :)

  2. says

    What a gorgeous, flavorful salad! After yesterday’s sun I’m ready to start grilling and this would be perfect on the menu. Like you, Karista, I could easily eat half of it before it reached the table! Love the fresh mint – it definitely makes me think of warmer days – and I will never say no to feta. Thanks for sharing!
    Hannah recently posted..Ras el Hanout and RosesMy Profile

  3. says

    Dear Alyssa and dear Karista -Thank you!!
    Love your recipe Karista it looks fabulous! I adore couscous love the fresh mint and pine nuts – a must try recipe:-)

    • EverydayMaven says

      The nice weather can’t come soon enough for me Kirsten! I have a huge pot of chocolate mint that I got as a gift last summer – I hope it comes back strong!

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