When it’s too darn hot to cook, reach for couscous. You may know this incredibly-easy-to-fix, North African semolina as a great bed for hearty vegetable and meat stews. What you’ll be happy to know this summer is that couscous makes a perfect hot weather salad. Mix it with a little Pesto and pile it on lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, whatever summer bounty strikes your fancy. Add olives and flatbread, and you’ll have dinner on the table in no time. SAM
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 cup uncooked couscous
3 to 4 tablespoons Pesto
1 large head romaine or Bibb lettuce
4 ounces mache or watercress
Thinly sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, and/or zucchini
4 ounces Mustard Vinaigrette
In a small saucepan, combine the water, salt, oil, and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Place the couscous in a small mixing bowl, pour the boiling water over it, cover, and let sit for 5 or 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and add the Pesto, mixing gently but thoroughly. Mix the salad greens and add as many vegetables as you’d like. Dress with vinaigrette or oil and vinegar. Divide the salad among four plates and top with 1/4 of the couscous. Stir gently to mix.
Makes 4 servings.