The good tomatoes are in.
Tomatoes that smell like tomatoes and taste like tomatoes and send wet tomato trails running down your arms every time you bite into the season’s first BLT on homemade sourdough. With thick-sliced bacon. And real mayo.
Tomatoes that make a salad. Like this couscous salad with chopped tomatoes, chickpeas, red bell pepper, onion, cucumber and feta. So good you’ll feel like you’re doing something bad. And isn’t that what summer is for?
If you’ve never cooked couscous at home, you might be surprised at how easy it is. Add the couscous to a small pot of boiling water, cover it, and set the pot off the heat for a few minutes. Then, fluff the couscous with a fork. It will be tiny and granular, like quinoa, but soft, like pasta.
And you get to turn off the heat to cook it. Yes, I’m saying that twice.
I’m a huge fan of couscous with roasted vegetables as a side, so I was excited about trying it with raw vegetables as a salad. One bite is all crunch and tang, the next bite creamy and cool. I finally hollowed out a tomato to use as a bowl in the hope of practicing a little portion control, but that really didn’t stop me from sneaking an extra bite here and there during the post-dinner clean-up festivities.
I mean, the good tomatoes are only around for a little while. You’ve got to get them while you can.
P.S. In the interest of full disclosure, Near East sent me two free sample boxes of couscous last month. I’ve been using Near East couscous for years, so I accepted them happily. They did not buy my love.
Tracie’s Couscous Salad
Adapted from Tracie Farmer (via “Paula’s Home Cooking,” FoodNetwork.com)
- 1 box flavored couscous (garlic or Parmesan), cooked (recommended: Near East)
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 Vidalia or red onion, chopped
- 1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 to 3 limes, juiced
In a large bowl, toss all the ingredients with the olive oil and lime juice, to taste.