This versatile, flavor-packed salad can be made in advance and pairs beautifully with a wide range of proteins. It’s hearty enough to be the centerpiece of a vegetarian meal, and an easy adaptation provides an excellent gluten-free alternative.
Curried couscous salad has been one of my go-to summer entertaining recipes for many years. Delicious, nutritious, and easy to whip up a big bowl, it is a little out of the ordinary and a definite crowd pleaser.
Perfect when you need to provide a dish for a cookout or potluck, this salad can be made in advance. I often make it a day ahead and am always happy if there are leftovers!
Recently, I came across brown rice couscous and was anxious to try it. Just like regular couscous, it cooks up light and fluffy. Quick cooking and nutritious, it is a fantastic non-wheat alternative whether you are gluten-free or not.
Looking for a vegetarian meal? Consider adding a can of rinsed and drained chickpeas or another white bean of choice. This will add filling protein and make the salad entree-worthy.
Update: I have subsequently used millet in this recipe, starting with one cup of dry millet to achieve a similar amount of cooked grains. To see basic information and cooking instructions for millet, click here. Quinoa could be used as a substitute as well.
- 1 1/2 cups couscous (regular, whole wheat, or brown rice couscous)
- 3/4 cup plain yogurt (1 6-ounce cup)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup celery, chopped (I include the leaves)
- 1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- chopped scallions for garnish, optional
Cook the couscous according to the package directions and fluff with a fork.
In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, olive oil, vinegar, curry powder, turmeric, salt and pepper.
Pour the sauce over the fluffed couscous and mix well.
Stir in the celery, carrots, cranberries, parsley, and onions. Garnish with scallions, if desired.
Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve cold or at room temperature, adding the almonds prior to serving.
Crumbled feta may be added for those who enjoy, as can chopped avocado. To add a dose of filling fiber and protein, consider stirring in a can of rinsed and drained chickpeas or cannellini beans.
Similarly, chopped Smokehouse almonds or a different nut or seed (or a combination) may be used, and dried cherries could be added in place of the cranberries. Chopped dried apricots also complement this salad nicely.