I've given up meat for lent this year, so you will be seeing more meatless meals in the upcoming weeks. I've been trying to eat less meat for a while now, and I'm looking forward to expanding my vegetarian horizans. This couscous salad and falafel meal was a well rounded and flavorful meatless meal.
The couscous salad is a staple in my house, and I'm shocked I haven't shared it on my blog yet. I got this recipe from my mom, and she got it from her friend Ina. Ok, maybe not her friend... but Ina's cookbook is around enough that she feels like a friend :) This couscous is a staple for parties and potlucks, and I make a big batch as a treat for Joe every once in a while. It's a great side dish with grilled chicken or pork, and also goes great with middle eastern dishes like falafel. The leftovers make a perfect lunchtime salad, too, and adding some sliced lunch meat or cheese makes it a complete meal.
I made the couscous salad to go with some falafel and pitas. I did the falafel from a boxed mix, and thought it tasted pretty decent. After dinner I found this recipe from Mark Bittman, which I'll have to try next time I want falafel. I added spinach leaves, red onion, and a yogurt sauce to the pitas, and since I baked the falafels it turned out satisfying and fresh tasting. This meal made me dream of the warmer wather that's just around the corner!
from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
1 1/2 cups couscous
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup small-diced carrots
1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup dried currants or raisins (I use golden raisins)
1/4 cup blanched, sliced almonds
2 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
1/4 cup small-diced red onion
Place the couscous in a medium bowl. Melt the butter in the boiling water and pour over the couscous. Cover tightly and allow the couscous to soak for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, vinegar, curry, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Pour over the fluffed couscous, and mix well with a fork. Add the carrots, parsley, currants, almonds, scallions, and red onions, mix well, and season to taste. Serve at room temperature.