I came up with this salad on a whim and found my inspiration as I thought about how to use the Israeli couscous that I recently bought from Trader Joe’s. I love the spice profile of Mediterranean cuisine and think it ties in well with a few Indian spices like turmeric and cumin. I made a marinade for the chicken breast and then cooked the couscous with cinnamon and a whole garlic. The vegetables that make up this colorful and tasty salad are broccoli, tomatoes, yellow bell pepper, radishes, corn, black beans, and fresh orange slices.
The great thing about this salad is that if you make for a lunch or dinner and you have a vegetarian friend over, you can serve the Grilled chicken on the side and the salad is just lovely. Your vegetarian friend will not feel as though the salad was an after-thought made hastily for them. On the other hand, those who enjoy a juicy tasty piece of grilled chicken will find that it is the perfect accompaniment to the Israeli couscous and the fresh kaleidoscope of textures and tastes in the salad.
GRILLED CHICKEN (optional)
2 lbs chicken breast
1 tbsp green seasoning
3 cloves crushed garlic
1 tsp Sriracha
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp honey
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp black pepper
Mix all marinade ingredients together and pour over chicken breasts. Mix together and let rest for 30 minutes.
Heat a grilling cast iron pan or bar-b-que grill. When hot, rub some oil on the surface and then add the chicken breast.Cook 7 minutes on each side, or until meat is no longer pink on the inside. Remove to a plate and cover with aluminum foil.
Measure 1 1/3 cups Israeli couscous and 1 3/4 cups vegetable or chicken stock, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 garlic clove, 1 cinnamon stick and 1 tsp olive oil.
Put oil into a heavy 2 qt saucepan and heat, add couscous and brown slightly in olive oil. when lightly golden, add the chicken stock, garlic clove and cinnamon stick and a 1/2 tsp salt.
When the stock begins to boil, lower the heat and cover the pot. Simmer for 15 minutes or until couscous is tender.
Remove from heat and stir together to loosen the couscous.Remove from pot into a bowl to cool. sprinkle with some chopped parsley and grated lime rind.
1 cup steamed broccoli
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper, red or orange
2 radishes sliced thin like matchsticks
1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup sweet corn kernels
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 orange cut into segments
1 head romaine lettuce, cut into shreds
1 lime, juiced and (rind grated for the couscous)
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 tbsp oil
Saute the black beans in olive oil and crushed garlic. add a pinch of salt and a pinch of cumin powder. Remove from heat.
1/2 orange, juiced
1 lime, juiced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp finely chopped purple onion
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Mix all ingredients except the olive oil together in a bottle or a bowl until combined. slowly add the olive oil. beat together well or shake well if you are making in a bottle.
Assemble salad on a large ceramic plate. Add the couscous on one side, arrange the vegetable and beans in sections. Slice the grilled chicken and place on top. Serve the Vinaigrette on the side.
If there are vegetarians, do not place the chicken on the salad greens, rather, serve the grilled chicken sliced on a separate platter.