Israeli Couscous, Quinoa Salad

Israeli Couscous, Quinoa Salad

 

Israeli Couscous, Quinoa Salad with Roasted Peppers, Heirloom Tomatoes and Arugula, Pineapple, and Feta is a hearty, healthy and wholesome salad that is a meal by itself for those cool summer breezes going into fall. The farmers market is still full of these luscious summer produce. I know, it’s fall already but it still feels like the end of summer in California. What’s that?!! I am in denial! Come on! Who wants summer to end?

The roasted peppers lend their smokiness to contrast the sweetness of the tomatoes and pineapple. The red quinoa has the bite and protein with the Israeli couscous adding the much-needed starch and texture. Rounding it off is the bitterness from the arugula and the salty creaminess of feta cheese. This is a keeper for those fall potlucks, end of summer campfires or just a light evening meal.

Shhh!!! Secret Ingredient: Roasted whole cloves of garlic whose spiciness clings to tongue and senses.

Pair it with Challah Bread and Balsamic Vinegar Infused Onion Jam for a sinful, healthy family dinner.

Variation for disbelievers:

Use fall’s produce of roasted root vegetables like carrots and beets, instead of the peppers. Toss in some roasted squash. Can you smell it now? Breathe in the scent of earth and enjoy the beautiful shades of red, yellow and orange of fall right in your kitchen. I like this season too. At least, I will, once the leaves change colors and the market bursts with the fall’s bounty.

Note: I made the Roasted Peppers, Heirloom Tomatoes and Arugula Salad with Israeli Couscous, Quinoa, Pineapple and Feta for the Teachers Appreciation Lunch at my son’s school, this summer and they went couscous (get it?!! he…he!) over it. Thank you all the efforts you put into your classes and students and for loving my salad so much.

Use Candied Spiced Pecans for a variation.

Pair the salad with Challah Bread and Balsamic Infused Onion Jam for a healthy family dinner

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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Ingredients

  • 2 Cups roughly chopped Peppers (Red, Yellow, Orange)
  • 15 whole garlic pods
  • 2 cups Heirloom Tomatoes, halved ( Red and Orange)    
  • 1 Cup Israeli couscous      
  • 1/2 Cup Red Quinoa (You can use regular quinoa too. I used this as it adds color and has more of a bite to it).
  • 1 Cup cubed Pineapple          
  • 1/2 Cup cubed Feta cheese                    
  • 1 Cup of Baby Arugula                                 
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped flat leaf Parsley,
  • 1/2 cup toasted Sunflower seeds (Use sliced almonds, pistachios even macadamias)
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
  • Salt and Black Pepper as needed

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Line two-quarter sheet pans with parchment paper. Season the garlic and julienned peppers in two separate bowls with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Transfer to the sheet trays in a single layer and roast in the oven for 15 to 17 minutes till they are golden brown. Transfer to separate jars and reserve.
  2. Toss the tomatoes with salt and set aside to drain on paper towels.
  3. Bring 1.25 cups of water, 1 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt, to a boil over high heat. Pour in the couscous and cook covered for 7-8 minutes till the couscous is cooked through and tender with a slight bite to it. Drain the excess liquid if any and rinse under cold water to arrest cooking more. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
  4. Bring Quinoa and 1 Cup Water and 1/2 Teaspoon Salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed 15 to 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  5. In a big bowl, Mix together the Couscous, Quinoa, tomatoes, roasted peppers, roasted garlic pods, pineapples, feta, parsley, and sunflower seeds. Toss with the Dressing. Reserve 1 tablespoon.
  6. Dress the Arugula separately and mix with salad. Serve.

Dressing

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl except the olive oil. Whisking with one hand, drizzle in the olive oil to create an emulsion.

Note: You can create the individual components ahead of time and mix the salad (Step 5) before serving.

 

One Comment

  1. Lovely recipe, Ramya. Contrasting and yet complementing flavours and textures!

     

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