I hate to admit this, but I am actually looking forward to sweater weather! This heat is just too much! Especially for someone who loves to cook as much as I do. I’m dreaming up recipes for scrumptious baked goods, savory stews, healing soups, and luxurious roasts but there is just no way I am turning on the oven at the moment. Sigh 😦
Well at least I am making the most of this crazy heat wave and have still managed to find ways to make delicious meals that require little or no cooking at all. And I have rediscovered couscous! Oh wondrous couscous, how you have rescued me in this time of need 😛 The beauty of this little grain is that you can cook it simply by pouring some boiling water over it in a bowl and then covering it with a lid. Thanks to my handy kettle, I don’t even need to turn on the stove to get the job done. Let me tell you, we have been eating a lot of couscous these days.
This is by far my favorite of the couscous creations. Watermelon, mint, basil, and cucumber come together to make a heavenly, light, and refreshing meal. I wanted to keep this vegan, but I could not resist adding a little salty feta as it pairs so nicely with the sweet melon. Fell free to leave this out though. I’m sure some olives or extra capers would also compliment this dish very well and provide that salty fix. In addition to being perfectly energizing on a hot summer day, the pink and green colors of this salad make a beautiful presentation.
- 1 cup couscous
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cucumber, sliced
- 1 1/2 cups watermelon, cut into small cubes
- 1 cup green beans, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh mint, minced
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, minced
- 2 tbsp capers
- 1/2 cup feta, diced (optional)
For the dressing: 1 tbsp each fresh lemon and orange juice, 1 tbsp grainy Dijon mustard, 1 tsp honey, 3 tbsp olive oil, pinch salt & pepper.
- Place couscous, olive oil, and salt in a heatproof bowl and pour over 1 cup plus 2 tbsp boiling water. Cover with a plate or lid and let stand 5 minutes. Remove lid, fluff with fork, and set aside to cool. I was in a rush when I made this so I put the warm couscous in the freezer to cool it down quickly, but if you have the time it’s best to just leave it to cool at room temperature.
- When the couscous is at room temperature, add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl. Whisk together the dressing and pour it over the salad. Toss to combine. Refrigerate the salad at least 1 hour before serving. It will stay fresh in an airtight container for 1-2 days. Enjoy!