this salad. this is the one. i am already thinking ahead to upcoming potlucks where i can share its awesomeness with friends. the original came from a blog i follow and dig, called Not without Salt. the recipe is here. she suggested it be used as a loose guide… so that is what i did. (like i wouldn’t have anyway… come ‘on) but the end result is pure bliss. AND looks pretty too, which doesn’t always happen with great tasting food. Bonus for me, hubby LOVED it. he kept sneaking spoonfuls of it every time he’d walk through the kitchen. once i warned him there would be none left to ride alongside his Delmonico, he stopped. so with this salad- i didn’t have fresh cherries, but i did have dried cherries… which are SUPER sweet. we’re not talking about cherry flavored craisins here people… i mean REAL legit dried cherries in a package. so i took a big handful (about a half a cup) -but if you can get a hold of some fresh cherries and have the patience to slice and pit them, giddy up. i’d use a cupful. You HAVE to use Israeli couscous. (couscous’s chubby cousin) otherwise it won’t look or taste the same and it will be a bowl of mess. trust me. i found some at Aldi surprisingly, so i bought five boxes! lol. any grocer will have it though. (if it has a flavor packet just pitch it) you only need the couscous. anyway- let’s get down to it.
WHAT YOU NEED:
around two boxes (or two cups or so if bulk) of Israeli couscous
four or five green onions, washed and sliced -all but top two inches.
a cup of freshly pitted and sliced cherries- or about a half cup of dried cherries
a small container of crumbled feta
1/2 cup thinly sliced almonds (i love the delicacy of these in this salad- super thin, but still crunch)
a large shallot (or two small ones) sliced thinly
juice from a lemon
2 T of red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar, or rice wine vinegar- whatever you have
a small glug of molasses (maybe a tsp?) if you don’t have this, use honey- but to be honest, i feel like it gave it such depth of flavor.
a large rip of fresh parsley (maybe a half a cup chopped)
1/4 cup olive oil (extra virgin if you have it)
1/2 tsp of salt (few shakes more on top once combined)
pepper to taste
HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:
cook your couscous in some boiling water per package directions (maybe a min less) and drain. Rinse super well with very cold water to stop the cooking process, and then hit it with a round of olive oil and shake it in to prevent sticking. set aside.
prep your onions, add to a large bowl where you’ll be doing all of your mixing.
prep the shallot, add to bowl.
toss in the almonds.
toss in the cherries
Add in the cooked couscous- and toss it all a bit with clean hands.
Then in a separate smaller bowl, add your vinegar, olive oil, the molasses, the salt/pepper and lemon juice. whisk together and dump on top of the couscous. Add in the chopped parsley and the feta. stir gently, but well- to combine all. Transfer to a pretty bowl for serving, and hit the top with some salt and pepper. Enjoy!! Awesome at room temp, but even better the next day truly- as a part of a bigger heartier salad of mixed greens and fresh cucumbers, etc! no need for dressing when you’re adding a spoonful of this bad boy to the top!