Tomato and cucumber couscous

salad on side

My dad recently bought something online, and you know how sometimes you get special deals for things you don’t need when you purchase something online? Well, he fell for them and now has subscriptions to three travel magazines and two cooking magazines. He said they were only two dollars each for a year’s subscription, but I told him to be sure to unsubscribe after a year. Needless to say, my new-found cooking magazine subscriptions have brought me some inspiration.

In my few years of cooking, I haven’t spent much time thinking about side dishes. I tend to make meals or throw random food together in an attempt to make a meal, and I don’t usually make sides other than simple things like roasted broccoli or carrots. While I’ve been thinking of recipes to share here, it’s become evident to me that this needs to change. So now I’m on a mission to find great sides that are tasty and are simple to make, and I found something to try in my dad’s $2 subscription to Cooking Light. Honestly, I would usually steer clear of any recipe with the word “light” in it (or from a magazine bearing that word in the title), but since I happen to have this magazine now, I flip through it during breakfast. And I found something that I thought seems good and easy.


veg in bowl

The magazine features several “add this to couscous” salads, and I’ve adapted this from one I found. The original recipe lacks any sort of dressing, so I added my own. It’s pretty good, but nothing spectacular, although it is quite easy. I’ll definitely make this again soon.

couscous on plate


Tomato and cucumber couscous
adapted from Cooking Light, June 2014
about 4 main course servings or 8 side servings

2 ½ cups water
1 ½ cup Israeli couscous
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
juice and zest of ¼ large lemon
½ teaspoon table salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 pint grape tomatoes
½ English cucumber, sliced and cut into fourths (about 1 cup)
¼ large red onion, diced (about 1/2/ cup)
½ cup feta, crumbled
handful of basil, chopped (optional)

1. Bring water to a boil; add couscous. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for about 8 minutes, until liquid is absorbed.

2. In serving dish, combine vinegar, olive oil, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper. Add tomatoes, cucumber and red onion. Toss to evenly coat salad with dressing. Add cooked couscous, feta and basil if desired. Server warm, at room temperature or cold.

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