Due to my sweet tooth, I’ve been posting all sweet dishes. I think it’s time for a change, so I’m going to write about my favorite summer salad.
Cherry Couscous Salad.
It sounds a bit strange, but bear with me – it’s delicious!
The salad takes advantage of the abundance of cherries available right now, and turns them from a snack or dessert into a full-blown side dish (or main dish, depending on how you serve it) to delight your fellow tablemates.
I found this dish last year while searching for a salad that I would actually like (dressings are not my thing. Ick), and found this salad with a dressing that actually sounded appetizing. So I gave it a try and loved it! I hope you’ll love it too. I found the recipe on a blog called “A Cozy Kitchen” – check it out!
Start by preparing your ingredients. I had no chickpeas on hand while preparing this, so I left them out.
Couscous is simple to prepare – for this recipe, bring 2 ½ cups water to boil in a medium sized saucepan. Add in your couscous, allow to boil, then cover and remove from the heat. Allow to stand five minutes, then uncover, fluff with a fork, and set aside. The Kitchn has a handy tutorial for preparing couscous here.
Pit the cherries and cut into fourths. This might take a while, but be patient – it’s worth it!
Lay your about six or seven spinach leaves on top of one another and roll them up. Slice into strips – this is called a chiffonade, and makes slicing up greens super easy.
Chop the onions – they don’t need to be exactly the same size, but should be fairly even.
Toast the almonds either on a baking sheet in the oven for seven to ten minutes or in a frying pan over medium heat, stirring every so often until you can smell them. Remove from heat and stir a few times to keep them from burning.
In a large bowl, toss together the chopped spinach, onion, cherries, chickpeas, and almonds. Set aside.
In another mixing bowl, whisk together yogurt, minced garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice. Toss with the cherry mixture.
Stir in cooled couscous, making sure the salad is thoroughly combined.
Chill for half an hour and enjoy!
Cherry Couscous Salad
½ c Sliced Almonds, toasted
2 ½ c Couscous, uncooked
2 c Spinach Leaves, sliced into strips
2 c Cherries, pitted and sliced into fourths
1 15 oz can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
½ of a small Red Onion, chopped
¼ c Plain Yogurt
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
3 cloves Garlic, minced
- In a saucepan, prepare couscous according to package directions – usually a 1:1 ratio of couscous to water. Once cooked, set aside and allow to cool.
- In a large bowl, toss together almonds, cherries, spinach, onion, and chickpeas. Set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic until smooth.
- Pour yogurt mixture over cherry mix and toss to combine. Add in couscous, stir to combine.
- Refrigerate for half an hour and serve.