The perfect barbecue side dish. Mediterranean couscous salad is a quick and easy side dish that is so versatile it can be eaten warm, room temperature or even cold. It can also be turned into a main dish by adding grilled chicken, fish or beef.
This dish has me dreaming of being on the coast of France, Italy or Spain enjoying the warm sunshine and the sea air while eating amazing food and sipping a crisp white wine. Since I am not there, I can still bring all the flavors to my home and enjoy the weather right where I am in my own home.
I have chicken broth in my kitchen at all times; it’s a great way to add extra flavor to any dish. I like to use broth in place of water where the liquid gets absorbed like cooking rice, or in this couscous recipe.
So lets talk about this easy and delicious side dish. Couscous is bland, so it’s good to add lots of flavor like fresh herbs, sweet sun-dried tomatoes as well as the broth to flavor the couscous itself to make the dish as tasty as possible. Couscous is made up of small grains of semolina that fluff up when they absorb liquid. It is a very versatile ingredient because you can customize it just about anyway you like by adding all sorts of different vegetables, fresh herbs, even fresh fruit.
I am using the larger pearl couscous, also know as Israeli couscous. It is added to a saucepan with a little oil and toasted slightly. Hot Swanson chicken broth is added and the couscous is cooked until all the liquid is absorbed. The couscous is then transferred to a large bowl and allowed to cool.
Once cooled, all the delicious flavors of the Mediterranean are added. Black olives, roasted red bell peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh chopped mint, fresh tomatoes, feta cheese and toasted slivered almonds for a little crunch. What I love about this dish is that it can be easily turned from a side dish into a main dish by adding grilled chicken, shrimp or beef.
The perfect barbecue side dish. Mediterranean couscous salad is a quick and easy side dish that is so versatile it can be eaten warm, room temperature or even cold.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups pearl/Israeli couscous
- 2 1/4 cups chicken broth hot
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste because there is salt in the broth
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives pitted and sliced
- 1 cup roasted red peppers cut into small strips
- 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil drained
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint chopped
- 4 medium tomatoes cut into small wedges
- 1 ounce feta cheese crumbled
- 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds * see note
- To a large saucepan add the olive oil and heat over medium heat.
- Add the couscous and toast, stirring often until golden, about 7 minutes.
- Add the hot chicken broth and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 12 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
- Transfer to a large bowl until slightly cooled.
- Add the salt and pepper.
- Use a fork to 'fluff' the couscous so they don't clump.
- Add the olives, red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, mint, tomatoes, cheese and almonds and mix well to combine.
* To toast the almonds, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the almonds onto a baking sheet and toast for 8 minutes until they start to turn golden.