Been a while since I posted and had this photo for a while now sitting on the back burner. Those that know me understand the affinity I have for Giada and her clever “everyday” Italian cooking techniques. I love simple and satisfying dishes like this – she called the recipe “fried couscous salad” – I prefer to take the healthier approach and call it “lightly toasted”. I mad a few substitutions to her recipe – opting for whole grain cousous which i cooked and then lightly toasted in a pan with just a light drizzle of olive oil, and using crumbled feta and mint.

The result was a delicious summer salad – much like the Ina Garten tabbouleh recipe that I so love to make in the warmer months, but this had a bit more depth to it from the toasting of the couscous to the sun dried tomatos which added a ton of flavor.

Perfect wine to serve with said dish?! St Supery Sauvignon Blanc. This wine is full of flavor, zing, excitment. A mix of tropical fruit and citrus with savoury elements. Perfect wine to serve with this couscous salad or with fish or crab or just on it’s own after a long workweek. It retails for $20 and taste more like $40.

Toasted Couscous Salad

  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 (10-ounce) box whole grain couscous
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
  • 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 small cucumber – peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • handful of chopped mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Zest and juice from 1/2 large lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • dash of pepper

For the couscous: In a medium pan, bring the chicken broth and salt to a boil over medium-high heat.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the couscous. Cover until the liquid had been absorbed – 5 to 6 minutes. Using a fork, fluff the couscous

In a large, nonstick skillet heat 1/4 cup oil over medium heat.

Add the garlic and cook until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the garlic and discard. Increase the heat to high and add the couscous. Cook, stirring constantly, for 6 minutes. Continue to cook the couscous, stirring every 5 minutes, until toasted, about 25 minutes.

Transfer the couscous to a large serving bowl and cool for 5 minutes. Add the feta, cucumber, sun dried tomatoes and Parmesan and basil.

For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper

Pour dressing over couscous and toss