Israeli Couscous Salad with Summer Fruit and Arugula

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Are we all mourning the loss of summer? I know I will miss the longer days, warm nights at the beach and carefree schedules. But when all feels lost, I know I still have my garden to turn to, at least for another month or two.

A couple of these guys found a new home in this recipe
A couple of these guys found a new home in this recipe

I have more cucumbers, sugar pumpkins and tomatoes then I know what to do with right now, but I’ll figure that out. Once these vegetables come out, in goes a new round – kale, arugula, mustard greens and maybe peas. All veggies that love the cooler weather and choose to stay away from the sting of the hot humid weather.

On one lovely night at the beach, a friend brought a version of this salad and I asked her for the recipe. My version is a bit more modified but still as delicious as hers was that night. It includes a number of my favorite things and works so well together – spicy arugula, sweet berries, light and breezy cucumbers, succulent cherry tomatoes from the garden, and of course, a touch of honey from my bees.

I loved this recipe so much that I will be making it for my Open House to show off my brand new, state of the art teaching kitchen. Come on by and you can have a taste before committing to the whole recipe at home! But trust me, if you can’t make the date, still run to the store and put together this simple, nutritious side dish. It’s a winner!

Israeli Couscous Salad with Summer Fruit and Arugula

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Serves 6

Ingredients

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon local honey
1 small clove garlic, minced or pressed
salt and pepper to taste

2 cups whole wheat Israeli couscous
3 cups baby arugula
1 small bunch fresh basil, sliced
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup fresh blackberries
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 cup crumbled Feta (optional)

Directions

  1. Make the vinaigrette: whisk together the olive oil, balsamic, mustard, honey and garlic with a dash of salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. In a large sauce pan, simmer water or chicken stock according to the package directions for the Israeli couscous.  Cook the couscous, remove from the pan into a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. Toss the arugula, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and Feta in with the couscous.  Slowly add the vinaigrette (you might not need all of it, taste as you go).  Gently combine and serve.

Recipe inspiration from The Washington Post photos by Heather Carey

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