Tender Couscous, Crunchy Vegetables and Vinaigrette.
I always keep couscous on hand to make a quick side dish or salad. Traditional couscous is made in a steamer and takes both time and technique to perfect. But instant couscous is a perfect alternative -- plus it cooks in five minutes. You can purchase couscous by the box -- Near East is an excellent brand. But for a better value you can buy organic couscous from many bulk grocers, especially organic and natural food markets.
When using couscous in a salad and you'll be adding and olive oil-based vinaigrette, it's preferable to cook couscous only with boiling water (instead of chicken or vegetable stock). Adding a teaspoon of olive oil will help the grains from clumping together. This salad can be made with any favorite vegetables you may have on hand but it is best with ones that have texture and crunch. Others additions could include raw red or green peppers, diced red onion, raw fennel, blanched haricots verts and similar.
This salad is also wonderful with chunks of cold roasted lamb, chicken or poached shrimp.