Composed Couscous and Corn Salad
This colorful main dish salad is simple to prepare, yet has a festive 'company's coming' look.
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 to 1/3 cup balsamic or wine vinegar, to taste
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
1 teaspoon agave nectar or natural granulated sugar
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend or all-purpose seasoning blend
4 medium potatoes or 2 medium-large sweet potatoes
Vinaigrette, store-bought or homemade (see below)
3/4 cup couscous
2 cups cooked fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
1 tablespoon light olive oil
Salt to taste
Minced fresh parsley for topping (optional)
1 red or green bell pepper (or half of each), cut into narrow strips
1 cup baby carrots, or more as desired
1/2 cup black olives, preferably cured and pitted
1 cup red or yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
- For Basic Vinaigrette: Combine all ingredients in a tightly lidded bottle and shake thoroughly. Shake well before each use. Makes about 1 cup. This is all-purpose dressing for salads and marinating. Increase the proportion of vinegar if your prefer a more pungent taste.
- For Salad: Bake or microwave the potatoes or sweet potatoes until done but still firm. When cool enough to handle, peel and cut into bite-sized chunks and place in a small mixing bowl. Toss with enough dressing to moisten.
- Meanwhile, pour 1 1/2 cups boiling water over the couscous in a heatproof container. Let stand for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
- Combine the couscous with the corn in a mixing bowl. Drizzle in the oil and toss well. Season gently with salt.
- Mound the couscous and corn mixture in the center of a large platter. sprinkle with a small amount of minced fresh parsley, if desired.
- Arrange alternating sections of potato, bell pepper strips, baby carrots, olives, and tomatoes around the couscous and corn mixture. Have everyone make their own mini-composition from these ingredients on individual plates. Pass around additional dressing with which to drizzle the raw vegetables as desired.
Makes 6 servings.
Recipe provided courtesy of Nava Atlas; www.vegkitchen.com.