Keeping a fresh, brightly colored salad in my fridge, that I can lunch on all week, is a must for me. This salad checks all the deliciousness boxes; nutty, grainy-ness from toasted couscous, sweet and juicy bell pepper, chunks of bouncy, milky mozzarella, green onion, and tart bits of fresh lemon. Combined together, the ingredients make for a refreshing (and savory) party in your mouth that will keep you coming back for more.
Bonus: the dressing is dairy-free--you can let this salad sit for a bit--making it ideal for warmer weather, i.e., picnic/BBQ/pool/beach food.
Smoked mozzarella is also great in this, if you can find it!
Notes: Garlic-infused olive oil is Trader Joe's.
TOASTED COUSCOUS SALAD WITH LEMON & BELL PEPPER
Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups couscous, 1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth, 1 tsp. olive oil, 1/2 English cucumber, 1 small red bell pepper, 1 small orange bell pepper, 1 cup cubed Mozzarella cheese, 1/3 chopped lemon, 2 sliced green onions. Dressing: 1/3 cup garlic-infused olive oil, 1 tbsp. lemon juice, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper.
1. Bring broth and olive oil to a boil in a saucepan. Tip in couscous. Cover with a lid and turn burner off. After 5 minutes, dip a spoon to the bottom of the pan. You want to feel the bottom-most layer sticking to the pan, creating the toasted bits. If it isn't sticking yet, let it stay on the burner 5-7 minutes longer, checking every couple minutes.
2. Fluff couscous with a fork, scraping up the toasted layer, then remove all of it to large bowl. Chop cucumber and bell peppers and add to bowl along with green onion, lemon, and mozzarella.
3. Make dressing: Whisk together all ingredients or shake up in a jar until emulsified. Pour over couscous and fluff to distribute.
4. Let couscous sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. Fluff once more before serving.