Couscous, Corn & Tomato Salad

Couscous Salad

Couscous is a quick-cooking grain made of semolina flour and a staple in North African cooking, specifically in Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. It's an ingredient that's used as a substitute for rice or quinoa. Couscous is easy to cook and simply only needs boiling water, a little salt, and at least five minutes of cooking time before it's ready to be served.

Health benefits of couscous include selenium, which acts as an antioxidant and potassium to help maintain fluid balance and blood pressure regulation. Couscous is also a good source of protein and fiber. 

Suitable for a variety of dishes, couscous can serve as a main or side dish, in soups and salads, and be served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For this recipe, couscous is the main ingredient for a salad. My favorite salads are salads that aren't lettuce-based. I prefer an array of vegetables, fruits, grains, some leafy greens, and herbs to make up a salad. 

This easy recipe only requires a few ingredients and can be prepared in 15 minutes. The cherry tomatoes, basil, couscous, and vinaigrette make this a light and fresh side dish that pairs well nearly anything, especially crab cakes and grilled shrimp.

Ingredients: 

1.5 cup couscous 

1.5 cup canned sweet corn 

1 cup of quartered cherry tomatoes 

1 tsp of kosher salt

1/2 tsp of black pepper

1 tsp of garlic powder 

1.5-2 T of chopped fresh basil 

Vinaigrette: 

3 T red wine sangria 

3 T olive oil 

1/2 tsp of dried basil 

1 clove of chopped garlic

1 tsp of lemon juice

1 tsp of agave

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions: 

1. Prep the couscous, corn and cherry tomatoes first and place in separate bowls. 

2. Cook the couscous according to box instructions. 

3. While the couscous is cooking, make the vinaigrette and set aside. Combine all of the vinaigrette ingredients, except the salt, pepper and olive oil. Slowly drizzle in the oil while whisking vinaigrette. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

4. After the couscous is done, combine corn, tomatoes, and couscous in a bowl and stir. 

5. Add the garlic powder, salt, and pepper and stir. 

6. Mix in the vinaigrette, serve right away or let chill in refrigerator until ready to serve, just toss the salad again right before serving.