Saturday, June 27, 2009

Cold Salad for Summer Picnics

When the weather starts to get nice and the grills start to fire up people's minds turn to eating outdoors. Whether it's a barbecue in your backyard or a picnic on the beach, enjoying a meal together outside with family or friends is one of life's great pleasures.

This year, I decided I needed something easy and unique to be able to throw together on a budget that would work for any cookout or picnic. The answer?

Refreshing Couscous Salad

- 1 cup dry couscous (cooked to package directions)
- 1 Red Delicious, Gala, or Fuji apple (cored, diced, and tossed with 3-4 drops lemon juice)
- 1 cup chopped broccoli, steamed and cooled OR 1 cup frozen chopped broccoli, thawed (with 1 or 2 runs of the knife through it to make slightly smaller)
- 1/2 sweet or Vidalia onion, diced and caramelized
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

- 1/4 cup champagne wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp grapeseed oil OR 2 tbsp light olive oil
- 1 tbsp orange OR lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp dried sage, crushed
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
- Salt & Pepper

- Prepare couscous, apples, onions, and broccoli.
- Toss first four completed ingredients in large bowl with raisins. Set aside.
- In small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients and whisk for 30 seconds to combine.
- Drizzle dressing evenly over couscous mixture. Toss so that the dressing coats everything evenly.
- Add grated parmesan cheese and toss.
- Transfer to portable bowl that has a lid (such as a Tupperware or Pyrex container) and put in fridge for at least 2-3 hours to allow ingredients to blend. For best results, prepare the night before. Serve chilled.

So far I've brought this to a picnic with friends and a pot-luck cookout with our small Bible study group and haven't taken much home either time. Tomorrow I'm going to another small cookout with some close friends and I'll be bringing it then too. My litmus test is always how often Steve asks me to make something, and this is one that he has asked me to make for each event since the first time I made it.

My thought: It's got a light flavor that is definitely a great accent to a summer or spring outdoor meal. Plus, it's super easy to make - start to finish takes 30 minutes or less. Tomorrow will be the third appearance for the salad, and hopefully the weather will hold out for our cookout!

1 comment:

Maria said...

That looks great! I am excited to try it tomorrow. It will be good to see you guys. :)