Tuesday, May 1, 2012

My Favorite Spring Salad

When the evenings begin warming up, I tend to lean towards making dinners that involve the stove and oven as little as possible. (When you live in a small Santa Monica bungalow, heat from the kitchen can warm up the whole house for the whole night.)

This week the evenings have started to warm up, so Mr. Arotin and I decided to make our favorite spring salad.  Its a blend between traditional mediterranean tabouli and Israeli salad.  (I use Israeli couscous instead of barley, but maintain all of the other traditional tabouli salad ingredients.)  Let's call it Arotin Spring Salad!

Arotin Spring Salad

1 box of Trader Joes (or 1 1/3 cups regular) Israeli couscous
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/3 cups boiling water
2 heirloom tomatoes, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cucumber, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 small red onion, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup finely chopped parsley
1 can of organic garbanzo beans (low to no salt preferred), drained
salt and pepper to taste

The first step in the salad preparation is to brown the couscous in a medium saucepan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil (takes about 5 minutes).  Once the couscous is browned, add 1 1/3 cups of boiling water (weird right, boiling?!) and bring to a boil.  Then, simmer the couscous on low for 8-12 minutes. (Make sure you check at about 8 minutes.  I have totally burned the bottom of my pan before because the couscous cooked quickly.)

While the couscous is cooking, its chop time! Don't all the veggies and herbs look yummy?!  We put all the chopped ingredients into a bowl, add the drained garbanzo beans, and then finish off the couscous.

The last and possibly most important step in the process is to cool down the couscous before adding it to the other ingredients.  This is most easily done through an ice bath - half fill a large bowl with water and ice, then transfer your couscous from the saucepan into a small bowl and place the bowl in the ice bath.  (Please excuse the stuff in my sink, but I thought a picture of the ice bath might be helpful!)

Once the couscous is cool, add it to the other ingredients. And, viola!

Sometimes, we like to add a little meat and cheese (which I can no longer eat :( ) platter to the Arotin Spring Salad.  Its easy, delicious, light (minus the salami, of course) and keeps the kitchen cool.

Hope you like it!


1 comment:

  1. Will definitely try this recipe! Can't wait to see you this weekend!