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Couscous Salad w/ Cucumber, Tomato, Mint, & Goat Cheese

42 comments /
I don't know what it is about couscous...but I love it.  The mouth-feel of it.  The distinct taste of the little pasta granule.  I really do think it has a taste of its own.  Odd?  I find it comforting.

Plus, it's another one of those you-can-do-so-many-things-with-it foods.  You can use it as a side dish or an entree.  And honestly, most often?  I find myself considering it an entree.  Even when I make it my favorite way...simply tossed with a healthy handful (okay two) of freshly grated Parmesan.  I don't know what it is about it, but I have to limit myself from eating a whole pot full that way.  Tossing it with veggies...cooked or raw...is another great way to turn it into a main course salad.  And just by switching up the add-ins and seasoning, it can be a different meal each time.
Funny thing, though.  My husband despises couscous.  Ummmm...what!?  What in the world is there to hate about it?  Really.  I wanna know.  He can't answer why...but it appalls him.  I try to reiterate the fact that he's nuts by insisting that he loves pasta and couscous is simply mini pasta.  Doesn't change his mind.  Weird.  Whatever.  I'm almost too embarrassed to say that this feeling has trickled down and infected my oldest child.  Two and three couldn't care less one way or the other...and nobody feels the love I do.

So yes.  Usually I wind up making a couple servings.  One for me now.  One for me later.  None for them.
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Couscous Salad w/ Cucumber, Tomato, Mint & Goat Cheese

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Keywords: boil salad side couscous vegetables
Ingredients (serves 2)
  • ¾ c. couscous
  • 1 c. boiling water
  • ~1 c. sundried tomatoes packed in oil or slow-roasted cherry tomatoes
  • ½-1 seedless cucumber, chopped
  • 1-2 scallions, sliced
  • ¼ c. fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • ~1½ Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • zest of half a lemon
  • olive oil, as needed
  • ~½ c. goat cheese
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
Put couscous in a large bowl and pour boiling water over. Add a good drizzle of the oil from the tomatoes, plus ~¼ tsp. salt and a few grates of black pepper. Stir and cover. Let sit for ~5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Once couscous has cooled down a bit, add cucumber, scallions, mint, and lemon juice. Toss. Stir in lemon juice and a bit more oil from the tomatoes or some olive oil. Season and adjust seasoning, if needed.

Dollop goat cheese on top and stir gently. Grate some lemon zest over the top. Enjoy!

adapted from Falling Cloudberries by Tessa Kiros
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42 comments

  1. I know what you mean...I love couscous.  I could live on it, but everyone else in my family, not so much.  This looks wonderful. 

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  2. I like couscous too. This looks really fresh and flavourful with goat cheese.

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  3. Que delicia de plato, me encanta.

    Saludos

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  4. I am loving this version of couscous. I just learned that we will be making couscous when I am in Sicily. So exciting!

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  5. that looks gorgeous and summery. not exactly the kind of dish for now because it's still blustery cold here in the UK, but i'm definitely going to do this in summer (:

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  6. Well, great minds think alike because I chose this recipe for this week's theme too.  I have a million bags of couscous in my pantry.  I'm glad to see you added the goat cheese...it wouldn't be a meal without it!  Ha ha:)  Looks delicious!

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  7. I adore couscous and often make it for lunch.  Great flavor combo, love the addition of sun dried tomatoes.

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  8. I love couscous now but when I first started making it I used a big bowl and it got gluggy on the bottom.  Now I use a sheet pan and all the grains stand up nice and fluffy like yours. lovely salad!

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  9. My family feels the same about couscous (quinoa, roasted beets,...).  So, like you, I find myself making a dish for me and stashing it in the fridge to eat for lunch the rest of the week.  I'm glad I'm not the only one.

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  10. This is such a healthy and refreshing dish I would probably add, when they become available, garden ripened tomato as well.

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  11. Horray for cous cous!  I adore Israeli cous cous, and wanted shoot you one of my favorite recipes:

    Cous cous with feta, thyme, lemon and salmon-- SO TASTY.

    Here it is: http://eggton.com/tag/cous-cous/

    I'm all over this latest one you posted: can't wait to make it.

    Cheers,
    Katherine
     

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  12. Love me some cous cous! Yours looks so good!

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  13. We all adore couscous - and I would happily make this my main meal of the day.

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  14. We love all kinds of couscous in our household. This look delicious!

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  15. you had me at goat cheese, man do I love it.

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  16. Me gusta muuucho el couscous, me encanta  y ya encontré una tienda en donde lo venden aquí!! :D
    Qué rica , fresca ésta recetita!
    Gracias

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  17. Hey, I do that in my household a bit.  No sense in depriving yourself of a dish you love.  I like couscous very much so I would be the perfect neighbor for couscous couscous night.

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  18. Yum! I posted a couscous recipe as well. I love it, luckily, because my husband is from North Africa and they live off of it. He might die without it. :) 

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  19. Natashya Kitchen PuppiesFebruary 21, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    I want to love couscous - I love every other kind of pasta, no matter how small - but for some reason couscous always tastes a bit like play-doh to me. Doesn't stop me from cooking it from time to time though - heavily seasoned!

    Your photos are beautiful!

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  20. I love couscous, especially the whole wheat version so I can feel happier about my fiber. ;-) This looks fabulous--loving the goat cheese. ;-)

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  21. Yum! I got here via a post on Pinterest for the roasted red pepper pesto. Your recipes look awesome.

    ~ Tiffany

    Transfer of Health
    Healthy Recipes and Wellness Tips

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  22. This looks fantastic to me! Guess you'll just have more for you, since your husband doesn't like it. Not a bad thing though...

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  23. What a delicious and healthy salad,Heather! I love couscous...Great meatless dish!

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  24. Hi Heather :)
    It's a wonderful salad, we eat it often and love it, although without the cheese.
    I might take this idea and add some cheese next time
    Thanks!

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  25. I will have to try couscous again and this is the recipe to try.  It sounds really!

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  26. Awesome (yay Pinterest!)...thanks so much! =)

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  27. OH! That sounds great. I haven't had Israeli couscous in years...I'm going to have to change that!

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  28. Sounds not only, delish but so refreshing -- I think it's high time to try couscous, don't judge ;)

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  29. Couscous DEFINITELY has it's own flavor (and it's a delicious one at that!). I'm loving the mix-ins in this salad.  hello, goat cheese. SWOON.

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  30. I love couscous. It took me some time to convince my family to like it too though...:) Mmm, goat cheese... Can't wait for mine to be ready!

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  31. What a lovely salad! This is the perfect lunch!

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  32. I love  simple couscous salads for dinner, They are so comforting!! Check out my couscous creations too, when u find time:

    http://schmetterlingwords.blogspot.com/2011/07/tuna-couscous-salad.html and
    http://schmetterlingwords.blogspot.com/2011/02/spiced-minced-meat-couscous.html

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  33. It looks lovely. I actually had a very similar recipe written down to try today! I guess we must have similar cravings. That or it spring time screaming the virtues of mint.

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  34. None for them, more for you sounds like a pretty good deal to me!  We are couscous eaters here.  For some reason we like to eat it alongside fish.  When The Boy was a toddler, couscous was one of only 4 things he would eat.  Man-oh-man was that a mess to clean off the floor.

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  35. oh! Heather, this is right in my alley. I will take this recipe with me today. With this crazy weather someday's a good salad like this will be wonderful.

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  36. I feel exactly the same way about couscous, but luckily my husband and son love it too. This salad looks really fresh and delicious. I like the addition of the sun dried tomatoes, and the mint sounds wonderful too. 

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  37. Couscous & ConsciousnessFebruary 26, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    I love couscous too - you are exactly right - it does have a "mouth-feel" that is unique.  I often make couscous for a main dish - I love it especially with some  roasted veges tossed through it - and I always make enough for leftovers the next day.
    xo

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  38. I have to confess that i have never had couscous in my life! I'm sorry, but it never looked so good as it does know. So making a dish with couscous is high on my to do list, now. Thanks for helping me stepping out of my cooking comfort zone!

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  39. Your pictures are awesome and I'm in love with this salad. I like couscous, have the same problem with the hubby not liking it, but sometimes I've been able to hide in, like in soup, and he eats it without knowing :) I love everything in this salad though and I want some right now!

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  40. Mmmm...I'm a big fan of couscous too.  I can't wait to try this recipe!

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