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Composed Couscous and Corn Salad

No recipe image available.This colorful main dish salad is simple to prepare, yet has a festive 'company's coming' look.

Recipe Ingredients:

Basic Vinaigrette:
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

Cooking Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Combine the couscous with the corn in a mixing bowl. Drizzle in the oil and toss well. Season gently with salt.
  5. Mound the couscous and corn mixture in the center of a large platter. sprinkle with a small amount of minced fresh parsley, if desired.
  6. 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;