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With Memorial Day around the corner, it’s time to kick off of BBQ season. This colorful Israeli couscous salad is highlighted by crunchy fresh veggies, a bright pop of pomegranate seeds and a zesty basil-citrus dressing. Complement your grilling with this recipe at your next BBQ, or keep a large batch on hand for a quick weeknight side dish.
1 10-12 is box Israelie couscous*
1 cup red or tri-color quinoa, cooked
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 cups sugar snap peas, diced
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 red onion, sliced paper thin
6 large basil leaves, finely chopped
3 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly cracked pepper
1/2 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese (optional)
* Traditional couscous, quinoa, farro, rice, pasta or any grain may be substituted.
1. Zest and juice the oranges and lemons into a large bowl. Whisk in the olive oil, salt and pepper. Gently stir in the basil.
2. Add the veggies and pomegranate seeds to the bowl with the dressing and let marinate while cooking the couscous.
3. In a deep pan, over medium-high heat, toast the couscous with an extra tablespoon olive oil and pinch of salt. Stir with a wooden spoon consistently for 2 minutes, until all the pearls are slightly golden.
4. Add the couscous with the amount of water recommended in the cooking instructions on the box.
5. Cook until al dente, according to the instructions on the box.
6. Once cooked, add to the bowl with the veggies and dressing. Add the quinoa and toss until well combined.
7. Serve warm or chill in the fridge. If adding cheese, recommended to add after chilled.
Jessica Cerra is the owner of Fit Food by Jess, a private chef and catering company in Encinitas, Calif., and the co-founder of Harmony Bar. A former professional XTERRA triathlete, Cerra now races for Twenty16 Women’s Professional Cycling Team.
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