I love a great salad that is light, fresh and easy to throw together for a healthy lunch. I wish I was more consistent at prepping food for the week because I always feel so happy when I do and it makes everything run smoother. Lunch is definitely one of those meals for me that I eat so much better if I have something prepared ahead of time because the day gets busy and it seems like I never have a lot of time to eat. I always feel like I'm eating on the fly. This couscous recipe is great because it makes great leftovers. Just keep the dressing on the side and it will save for a few days!
Israeli Couscous Salad with Smoked Paprika
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (I used coconut white balsamic because that's what I had on hand)
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/3 cups (8 ounces) Israeli couscous, sometimes called pearl couscous or maftoul
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
12 ounces cherry tomatoes
4 ounces (about 1 cup) feta, coarsely crumbled or chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup chopped cucumbers, seeded
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the dressing: Whisk the oil, vinegar, paprika, salt and pepper in a small bowl until smooth.
For the couscous: Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Cook the couscous, stirring frequently, until golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Add 2 cups water and the salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the couscous is just tender and the liquid is absorbed, 9 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
Mix together the cucumbers, tomatoes, cheese, almonds and mint in a large bowl. Add the couscous and the dressing. Toss until all the ingredients are coated. Transfer to a large serving bowl and serve.