Couscous Salad with Kalamata Olives, Cherry Tomatoes, and Crispy Shallots and Basil

couscoussaladwithkalamataolives

For those days when you walk in the door, just exhausted from a long day of work, try this simple and delicious couscous salad.  I’ve never really considered couscous and other grains as a good base for salads until I started browsing some fellow food bloggers’ sites.  It opened my eyes to a whole new way of simple and delicious cooking. 

I served this with some homemade crostini and my husband and I loved it!

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • a good handful of fresh basil, leaves picked
  • 2 avocados, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bunch cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • small handful of cashews, chopped roughly
  • good quality balsamic vinegar, for plating

Directions:

In a medium sized saucepan over medium-high heat, add the water, butter, 1/2 tsp sea salt,  nutmeg,  curry powder and cayenne powder.  Bring to a boil, add the couscous, stir for a moment, cover and remove from the heat. 

In a small frying pan, add a generous glug of olive oil.  When the oil is hot enough, add half of the basil and gently fry until the leaves start to crisp up.  Remove the basil from the oil once crispy and add the shallots, and gently fry until crispy.  Remove from the oil when done and place on a paper towel to remove any of the remaining grease.

Make a chiffanade of the remaining basil leaves.  Mix half of the basil leaves, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, and avocados, and mix in with the couscous.  Serve the mixture in a serving bowl, and top with a sprinkling of the rest of the cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, avocados, cashews, basil and feta cheese.  Top with a small amount of the crispy shallots and basil.  Grind some pepper over the top.  Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and balsamic.  Enjoy!

2 Comments

  • comment-avatar
    Jana May 27, 2012 (10:58 am)

    This looks just fantastic. I love the mediterranean inspired flavors. I am adding it to my must try list! Thanks for sharing.

  • comment-avatar
    Lauren May 27, 2012 (11:00 am)

    Thanks, Jana! Appreciate the kind words, and look forward to your thoughts on it. I haven’t made this in so long, that I just might do so this weekend! 🙂