Recipe Review

Mediterranean Couscous Salad Is a Summer Staple

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Credit: Cookie + Kate

This Mediterranean-inspired couscous salad is the perfect summer dish. It’s light and simple, with lots of vegetables, chickpeas, and salty feta cheese. It works for any warm-weather cookouts or potlucks, and it’s also a healthy option for carrying to work in any weather. Those salty, briny flavors are the perfect thing to eat when it’s hot out, and you don’t even need to spend a lot of time in a hot kitchen. The only reason to turn on the stove at all is to cook the couscous and toast some pine nuts. Everything else in the salad is cold and raw — even the squash. 

Raw squash isn’t something I see every day, but the author says it has a tender, crisp texture that makes it a nice alternative to cucumber. You have to make sure to slice it very thin, though. You can use a sharp knife and do it by hand if you’re confident, but a mandoline is the easiest way to get perfectly thin circles of squash and zucchini quickly. 

Cook the couscous as per the package directions, then carefully toast some pine nuts by warming them up on low heat until they start to turn gold. Don’t let them get too dark or they’ll burn.

Make the simple dressing with olive oil, fresh lemon juice, garlic, shallot, and salt and pepper. Whisk the ingredients together and dress the couscous so it’s evenly covered in a thin coat. Top the couscous with toasted pine nuts, chickpeas, chopped tomatoes, feta cheese, kalamata olives, sliced zucchini and squash, and some freshly chopped leaves of basil or flat-leaf parsley. They look pretty arranged on the top in tidy quadrants, but it tastes best combined, so mix everything up when you’re ready to eat it. 

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

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