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Green couscous salad

Who hasn’t opened their crisper to find that forgotten bag of muck formerly known as cilantro? With this simple prep-ahead recipe, bunches of fresh herbs pull double duty, acting as both the lettuce stand-in for the salad itself and as the base of a bright and herby sauce that would also be great spooned over seared or grilled fish.

YIELDS
6
 TO
8

Ingredients

Dill Sauce

  • 1 handful baby spinach or arugula
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed dill
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed parsley
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 2 1/2 oz goat cheese or feta
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • Kosher salt and black pepper

Salad

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups Israeli couscou
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 English cucumber, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped dill
  • 2 1/2 oz goat cheese or feta, crumbled

Directions

For the dill sauce

  1. Combine the baby spinach with the dill, parsley, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, mustard, goat cheese, and yogurt in a food processor or blender. Blitz into a smooth sauce, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour into a large bowl and set aside.

For the salad

  1. Place a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil and couscous and cook, stirring frequently, for one to two minutes or until lightly toasted and nutty smelling. Carefully add the vegetable broth, season with salt and pepper, and boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and leave covered for five minutes to allow the couscous to absorb the liquid. Set aside to cool slightly or all the way to room temperature.
  2. Add the cucumber, avocado, and green onions to the sauce, parsley and dill. Pour over the cooled couscous and stir well to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve scattered with the goat cheese. The salad will keep in the fridge for up to three days. Enjoy! 

TIP: Israeli couscous is a small cut of pasta. If you cannot find it at your local grocery store, you can substitute orzo or acini di pepe.

Excerpted from In Mary’s Kitchen by Mary Berg. Copyright © 2023 Mary Berg. Photographs by Lauren Vandenbrook. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

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