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Israeli Couscous Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

This Israeli Couscous Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing is a dish destined for your next Memorial Day cookout.

Every year I say I’m going to downsize the garden. At the end of the garden season the memory of the mutant like weeds, the tomatillo plant that took over an entire raised bed, and the realization that even I, the lover of pesto, caprese salad, and tomato basil soup, could not find enough uses for the truly absurd amount of basil I planted still lingers fresh in my mind.

Maybe it’s the cold, or being forced indoors, or the lack of color, but something about the winter seems to erase the memory of all the hard work and diligence gardening requires.  By the time the days begin to stretch out longer and the first warm breezes blow our way, I’ve got a serious itch. Suddenly, I want to plant everything. And I mean everything.

Imagine me as this comic, except instead of saying clean, I’m saying plant.

Yup, that’s me alright.

So here I am again, dreaming up a garden stuffed with juicy heirloom tomatoes, obscure herbs, purple carrots, and “must wear gloves to handle” hot peppers.

The Mr. is trying to reign me in. He’s been reminding me of the weaponized mosquitoes and army of weeds we fought last year. All I remember is how glorious it was to pluck tomatoes straight from the vine and have fresh salads waiting for us right outside our back door.

The Mr.’s memory is a little less rose-colored than mine. And perhaps his reminders will work. But then again, maybe they won’t. Whatever the case, there’s one thing I know.

I want this summer to be filled with meals like this Couscous Salad. Refreshing, healthy, simple meals based around the best the garden has to offer.

This salad couldn’t be much easier. You can prep the veggies while the couscous cooks, give everything a quick toss, and babam! you’ve got lunch. And it’s easy to adapt this to whatever you might have growing. Try a Mediterranean version with chunks of mozzarella cheese and basil. Add zucchini or cucumber for extra crunch. Chicken or shrimp would make great proteiniferous (read: filled with protein) additions. Whatever way you spin it, this is a dish destined for your next Memorial Day cookout.

Fresh and easy, it’ll leave you plenty of time to enjoy those extra long summer nights…or maybe tackle that garden you’ve been dreaming about.

For that, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Israeli Couscous Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing
Yield: 4-6 main dish servings
Recipe by

1 1/2 cups dry Israeli Couscous
1 can turkey broth
1/4 cup water (Or about 2 cups broth or water total)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 avocado, chopped
8 grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 large red pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 Tablespoons sour cream

1. In a small saucepan, bring the broth and water to a boil. Add couscous, reduce heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for 6-8 minutes, or until pasta is al dente. Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking process.

2. In a large bowl combine black beans, avocado, grape tomatoes, red onion, and red pepper. Add cooked couscous and stir.

3. In a small bowl whisk together garlic, cilantro, fresh lime juice, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, olive oil, and sour cream.

4. Add sour cream mixture to couscous mixture and stir well to combine. Serve chilled. Will keep in the fridge for about 2 days (the avocados start to brown after that).

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  • Jen @ The Scrumptious Pumpkin April 20, 2012, 2:58 PM

    I love your cilantro and lime dressing recipe. The combo of herbs and spices sounds delicious. Can’t wait to try it!

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