Eating couscous provides you with essential nutrients to help maintain your overall health. This whole-grain food is high in protein and fiber and is commonly found in Middle Eastern cuisine. It is small pasta made of semolina, a form of wheat and can be eaten as a side dish, salad or dessert, and you can use it in place of rice or Quinoa. I tend to always have some left over, so I like to create a simple salad out of it. This one was super simple, but flavorful made from ingredients that I had on hand for one of my Monday night gals gatherings! It literally makes my mouth water just thinking about this salad!
4 to 6 Cups Couscous, cooked leftover
1 Can Black Olives, drained and sliced
1 Cup Artichoke Hearts, packed in water, drained well and sliced
1 Cup Mezzetta Italian Mix Giardiniera, chopped
1 Green Onion, chopped fine
Italian Salad Dressing, (I prefer to make the WishBone brand from the packet)
Salt & Pepper, to taste
We’ve been eating a lot of Artichoke hearts lately. Costco carries large jars that you can pull from and use just a few, leaving the remainder in the fridge until the next dish. I prefer the ones packed in water because they are perfect for throwing into dishes when you just want the flavor of the artichoke hearts, and don’t need or want the marinade. Some of the marinated brands are pretty salty, and I would rather go with some good olive oil anyways. They are great in salads and on pizza, or tossed with pasta and sauce, for example, or in your own vinaigrette. I don’t use them in anything that cooks a long time, or they tend to get mushy. Take them out of the water some period of time before using them and press them between paper towels to wring out excess moisture. It also seems to concentrate the flavor.
The other item that made this salad was Mezzetta Italian Mix Giardiniera. My friend Pete got me hooked on these a while back and when the jar is empty, I keep the juice and marinade my own veggies in the back of my fridge, just like he taught me! The jar is a melange of carrots, celery, cauliflower, and colorful summer veggies that are pickled. it is crisp and tangy and can be served as an appetizer, the perfect compliment to antipasto, or thrown into a salad like this one.
It’s simple to prepare! Just add the chopped ingredients to your chilled left over couscous. Toss gently with your preferred amount of Italian salad dressing! Season to taste!