Thursday, May 7, 2009

Julia's Couscous Confirmed Salad

My friend Julia made this flavorful and healthy couscous salad for her son's confirmation party, along with a terrific fail-safe, make-ahead filet mignon. Because this salad can be made the day before, it makes for a great, low-stress party dish.

Couscous Confirmed
adapted from Gourmet, September 2002

Makes 6 servings

For roasted tomatoes and dressing
2 pt red grape or cherry tomatoes (1 1/2 lb)
3 large garlic cloves, left unpeeled
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For couscous
2 3/4 cups chicken broth
2 1/4 cups pearl (Israeli) couscous
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup Kalamata or other brine-cured black olives, pitted and chopped
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

Roast tomatoes and make dressing:

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Halve tomatoes through stem ends and arrange, cut sides up, in 1 layer in a large shallow (1-inch-deep) baking pan. Add garlic to pan and roast in middle of oven until tomatoes are slightly shriveled around edges, about 1 hour. Cool in pan on a rack 30 minutes.

Peel garlic and puree with oil, water, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup roasted tomatoes in a blender until dressing is very smooth.

Make couscous:

Bring broth to a boil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan and stir in couscous, then simmer, uncovered, 6 minutes. Cover pan and remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes.

Spread couscous in 1 layer on a baking sheet and cool 15 minutes.

Transfer couscous to a bowl and stir in remaining ingredients, dressing, roasted tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste.

Note: Roasted tomatoes, dressing, and couscous can be made 1 day ahead and kept separately, covered and chilled. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.


Culinary Cory said...

I love couscous. This salad looks lovely. I would probably hold the olives because I'm not much of a fan. But, bring on everything else! :)

Martina said...

We made this on Sunday to feed to 8 hungry college students. It was great -- tasty and beautiful. They loved it. It is also good leftover. We ate it for dinner last night and I am eating the last of it right now with pita bread for lunch. We served it to the students with green beans and pickled onions and three kinds of empanadas.