Where did summer go? It seems we say that every year as the sunny days start to fade, and the cool, crisp air makes its yearly return. Before we begin to lament on the passing of summer, make sure to take advantage of what’s left of the warm days by savoring a picnic in the park, or a salad on a patio in celebration of Eat Outside Day, taking place August 31.
1 10-ounce box plain couscous
½ teaspoon sea salt plus more for the cooked couscous, if desired
2-3 small spring onions & tops, chopped
5 or 6 radishes, diced small
1 small pickling cucumber or ½ English cucumber
1 medium size red, yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 15-ounce can chick peas (garbanzo beans) drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen green garden peas
1 small (2.25 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
Several fresh mint leaves, minced
Juice of 4-5 lemons
1/3 cup olive oil
Handful of grape tomatoes, halved and reserved
Other things you can add: ½ cup fresh snow peas, cut in half or ½ cup blanched green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
(Note: This salad can be as colorful and as interesting as you make it)
Cook couscous according to package directions, adding the sea salt to the water. (If you do not have directions, do the following: Put 2 cups of water and the salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add 1 ½ cups couscous and cover. Let stand for 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork.)
Stir in the diced onions, radishes, cucumber and pepper. Add the chick peas, garden peas and olives. Stir in the minced parsley and mint.
Add the lemon juice and olive oil, both to taste. If needed, add more of both.
Serve chilled over a bed of leaf lettuce. Just before serving add the halved grape tomatoes. If you plan to keep some of the salad, do not add the tomatoes to the entire salad, just to the portions that you plan to serve.
Yield: 8 1-cup servings
This salad will keep for several days in the refrigerator.