Friday, August 8, 2014

Arugula-Pesto Israeli Cous Cous Salad

This is a perfect summer salad. It has bright lemon flavor and flavorful fresh basil pesto. I love the fun shape of Israeli cous cous. It is a great medium for salads because those little balls get coated in the delicious dressing so every bit pops with flavor. The cous cous cooks up very quickly, so you can have this all ready to chill in about 15 minutes. While you can serve it right away, I totally recommend letting it refrigerate overnight to heighten the flavors. It's also great in a wrap for a portable meal.

Arugula-Pesto Israeli Cous Cous Salad

6 Servings

2 cups water
pinch salt
1 1/4 cup Israeli cous cous
1 medium zucchini, brunoise (very small dice)
3 tablespoons mined yellow onion
1/3 cup pesto (your favorite recipe)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 large tomato, seeded and diced (about 1 cup)
1 - 15 oz. can cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups baby arugula

Bring water and salt to a boil in 2 qt saucepan. Add cous cous. Cook for about 8 minutes until cous cous is al dente. Place diced zucchini in large mesh strainer. Drain cous cous over zucchini so it gets gently blanched. Stir to combine in strainer. Set over pot to drain and cool. Do not rinse the cous cous! This step is important. If cous cous does not drain well enough, the salad will be too liquidy.

While the cous cous is cooking, in a small bowl whisk together pesto, lemon juice, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Place cous cous mixture in large mixing bowl. Stir in dressing mixture until well combined. Gently fold in tomato, beans and arugula. Serve over green lettuce leaf.

* For best flavor, refrigerate for at least 2 hours preferably overnight.

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